What were you, spider

Rob Miles

if not the unflushed hauled back up
on luck and your knee-knuckles? Not much more
than the bones of a tent
with its top whipped off. Breeze-

dried through, you retuned
as the many-armed harpist, all prongs for strings
to pluck to shivers, to strum
in sun for a day. At first, you lived giddily

on a windowsill, then on tenterhooks
on a thinning crochet clinging to its pin, catching
airborne banquets, falling
horizontally. Rain came

lending globes for your orrery, but the cold
made your domain craze
like a trodden mosaic, overcrowded now
with no guests and no busy host

except what’s left in the neatening frost
in which you’ve formed, like grief, this brittle
stylus of yourself, this crisp claw
to needle an infinite spiral.