Old Woman


Her house is full of spiders,

their cobwebs anywhere –

secret yarns of connection created

with leaps of singular faith and due diligence.


These weavers are welcome in her corners.

If they stray from their high places,

listen to Jerry read "Old Woman"

she invites them to her garden.


She carries them regally upon a virgin page,

ushers them through an open door

with a certain mercy, based on her belief

that satisfaction waits for them among her vines.

If she finds them when it is winter in her garden,

she speaks to them in a quiet voice,


before she turns away to another room.

Dried husks, residue of their meals,

litter her floor.


Their gray lacework decorates her favorite writing corner.


Her mind is full of words, insistent threads –

obscure yarns of connection – that beg

for the diligent leap, a certain faith.


She weaves a poem that comes from within,

the words unbidden – perhaps from a dream’s image.

She invites them to her pages.


She records them bravely in scribbled longhand,

reads them aloud, breathes them with full hope,

even eagerness, based on her belief


that satisfaction is only one verse away.

Yet, if her internal censor freezes her hand,

her voice stalls to a silence.


She turns away to another room.

Wadded pages, residue of her intent,

litter her floor.