Nestled among stones, clusters of spider webs
shine in the sun, spun across spored fronds
of low-growing fern, woven at crazy-quilt angles,
tilting to the sky like miniature hammocks,
home to tiny spiders the size of a child’s fingernail.
Some webs show ragged holes. Each time the wind
blows they could tear off their frail moorings
and float into daylight’s indifferent air.
What makes stones solid and webs
so fragile? Where do we humans fit in
with our clusters and colonies binged
across the earth’s crust, tilting at skies
ragged with storms and ozone holes,
basking in bright ribbons of emissions spun
across the planet? I hear the wind and wonder
with each passing gust whose house will fall next.
Maril Crabtree lives in the Midwest and writes poetry, creative nonfiction, reviews, and occasional short fiction. Her work has appeared in Canyon Voices, Main Street Rag, Coal CityReview, and others. She is a former poetry editor for Kansas City Voices and her latest collection, Fireflies in the Gathering Dark, was named a 2018 Kansas Notable Book.
Guest Editor Laura Lee Washburn is a University Professor, the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10thAnniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize). Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Cavalier Literary Couture, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, Red Rock Review, and Valparaiso Review. Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, she has also lived and worked in Arizona and in Missouri. She is married to the writer Roland Sodowsky and is one of the founders and the Co-President of the Board of SEK Women Helping Women.