Friday, July 16, 2010

Free Range Friday!


I had a fine workout on Thursday last week,
but not of the sort you’d suppose.
My heart started racing and I gave a shriek;
I wasn’t alone in my clothes.

The tickly feeling of myriad feet
is a creepy sensation, indeed.
A scoop and a toss while my heart skipped a beat;
the outfit intruder was freed.

It made its escape ‘cross the carpeted room
and hastily crawled out the door.
I followed it, fully intending its doom,
then darn near passed out on the floor!

It seemed that a spider, while strolling the dark,
had chosen to hide in my shirt.
Brown and reclusive with violin mark,
intending to do me some hurt.

After a check for identification,
I tossed the dead beast in the trash.
It wasn’t a moment for much jubilation:
who knows where its family is stashed?

My co-workers gasped and my friends were all shocked.
“You’re lucky that thing didn’t bite!”
While wearing the clothes where a spider had walked,
I had to agree; they were right.

I thought long and hard on the “spider event”
and my narrow escape from its tooth.
I Googled “recluse” and some hours were spent
in sorting out fiction from truth.

It turns out recluses aren’t evil incarnate;
they don’t go out looking for fights.
But if you’re not careful around them, then darn it,
you’re going to suffer some bites.

They’re not big on webs but they do like to stalk;
instead of eight eyes they have six.
They’re also well known for their casual walk
on long skinny legs just like sticks.

Though they’re non-aggressive, please don’t tempt ill fortune!
Be careful for your safety’s sake.
Their venom’s more toxic, in size-wise proportion,
than diamondback rattle-type snakes.

Some bites pass unnoticed, with nary a twitch,
while some get progressively worse.
Redness and swelling and maddening itch
while you pray there’s no need for a hearse.

Where one has been found you will surely find more,
but even so, don’t be alarmed.
We’ve lived alongside them for years by the score,
and rarely is anyone harmed.

You don’t have to burn down your house and rebuild,
we don’t need to go to extremes.
It’s never been proven recluses have killed;
they’re not quite as bad as they seem.

If you have a problem with spiders galore,
don’t bother with chemical ick.
Just set out some glue boards, five, six, or more.
I promise that they’ll do the trick.

So fluff up your clothing and shake out your towels,
and don’t leave your stuff in a heap.
Beware when recluses are out on the prowl:
they’ll sneak up on you in your sleep!


  1. This is great. It made me smile a lot. I have a daughter who screams as soon as she sees the smallest spider, and believe me, Hollywood could use that scream for voice over horror movies.


  2. I'm amazed at people who can write long poetry like this. You're probably gifted at song writing too. I can sometimes write haiku bit that's about it. Have a great weekend.

    Stephen Tremp

  3. ROTFLOL! LOVE it! But I think you have two toxic spiders combined--isn't it the Black Widow that has the violin? Or is that an hourglass? Or.... Hmmm.......
    Marian Allen

  4. Alex-- Thanks! Always willing to do my part.
    Nancy-- Maybe she's headed for a career in opera?
    Stephen-- Every once in a while the muse is kind. Thank you!
    Marian-- I once shared a foxhole with a black widow. She had the telltale hourglass. Beautiful, but creepy. :) And thank you!

  5. This is great! I may share it with the Scouts! ;)

  6. Cool! The more, the merrier. Spiders in clothing excluded, of course...

  7. I've never had a bad spider bite myself (knock on wood), but I've seen the damage a brown recluse spider and others can do when they bite, leaving huge ugly scars. I've developed a habit of shaking out my clothes before I put them on, and even checking in my slippers and shoes.

  8. I'm knocking right along with you!


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