Tarantulas on the Lifebuoy
BY THOMAS LUX
For some semitropical reason
when the rains fall relentlessly they fall
into swimming pools, these otherwise
bright and scary arachnids.
They can swim a little,
but not for long
and they can’t climb the ladder out.
They usually drown—
but if you want their favor,
if you believe there is justice,
a reward for not loving
the death of ugly
and even dangerous (the eel, hog snake, rats) creatures,
if you believe these things,
then you would leave a lifebuoy or two
in your swimming pool at night.
And in the morning
you would haul ashore
the huddled, hairy survivors
and escort them back to the bush,
and know, be assured that at least
these saved, as individuals,
would not turn up again
someday in your hat, drawer,
or the tangled underworld of your socks,
and that even— when your belief in justice
merges with your belief in dreams—
they may tell the others
in a sign language
four times as subtle and
complicated as man’s
that you are good,
that you love them,
that you would save them again.
My youngest son left this poem in my email as a response to my "Trust" post. He knows me well. This poem speaks to my very soul.
My youngest son is a poet and a visionary. He has always understood the nuances of human behavior and ,it seems, the affinity of his mother to the natural world.
Thank you for the wonderful poem, Jess.