(after Walt Whitman's A Noiseless Patient Spider)
A coughing, tiring spinster
I saw here, on a long cockle bed, she wept, remembering,
saw how she burrowed her temples for memories.
She teased out brittle hair, brittle hair, with cold rocking smiles;
always sat winding them, wakefully wrapping them.
My soul, you sleep warm in your shell -
escapes barred, lights curtained by eternal firmaments black -
forever sleeping, rejecting, huddling – building walls to shade your face.
You fear the time your path is cleared – your brittle scalp plucked bald;
when the white tufts I gather, remember, awake and cold.