Iowa Writes

PATRICIA STRAUB
On Being Human


I. 

In the corner today
a large spider rests frozen
in a web of spider history,

pink tile walls
and base of my tub
the expanse of two oak branches.

It's possible these spiders
have spent their entire lives
in my bathroom

accustomed only to
tropical rainforests
of steamy showers,

the tornadic debris
left behind
my broom. 

A broad sweep
trailing
spider complications.

I. 

In the corner today
a large spider rests frozen
in a web of spider history,

pink tile walls
and base of my tub
the expanse of two oak branches.

It's possible these spiders
have spent their entire lives
in my bathroom

accustomed only to
tropical rainforests
of steamy showers,

the tornadic debris
left behind
my broom. 

A broad sweep
trailing
spider complications. 

No matter, spiders
are forward thinkers,
own no spider sentimentality.

Today commences the cocoon
of a frozen spider
but only two back legs.

A large task for one.
Is spider history prevailing?
Perhaps.

II.
As I climb, dripping,
out of the tub
I am thinking

of that dainty pitcher
for hot cocoa
my great grandfather purchased

one winter in town,
bundled under his coat
through that famous Iowa blizzard,

a gift for a wife
because it was delicate, and yellow
and would seduce her, and

because he loved hot cocoa
and now she would serve it
more often. 

III.
As I imagine times
when people were stronger, and kinder,
I stretch for a towel to dry and

catch the web
of this spider who does not try
daily to be a better spider,

a kinder spider.
I destroy what
spider history has bestowed.

No matter,
I, in love with a story
of an old pitcher

(a love no spider could understand)
bundle this delicate china in paper,
on hold for my great granddaughter.

She will tell the story of this day,
and the spider will
not be part of it.

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


PATRICIA STRAUB

Patricia Straub grew up in Whittemore, Iowa with her parents and thirteen siblings. She currently lives in St. Paul, MN, with her husband Joshua and two cats.

This page was first displayed
on January 30, 2007

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