By Ailbhe Curran

Photo By Kila Smyth

It was too easy.
Its little legs wavered, 
Like clinging in a fall from carousel 
As it washed 
Round and round, 
Down and down 
The drain. 

And then it was gone. 
Time to move on now. 

I squeezed out the strands of my silken spun hair, 
Gently rubbing my skin with the 
Warm love-woven towel, 
Its threads soft and delicate. 
Who or what wove it I wondered, 
Who made it so smooth and comforting 
For me. 

My hair dripped upon my brother’s portrait, 
Tears rolling down the glass pane until they disappeared
somewhere. He is silent and unmoving but 
A constant stare. 
Like spider, 
He has no words for me. 
But I cannot shake him like my toe-sized creature. 
He does not fade away but
Sits there on my dresser, 
Perhaps trying to find the words he cannot speak. 

He is at distance in lands destroyed. 

And yet the feelings travel through his face unyielding,
Moulded through terrors of away. 
Faces that mirrors can’t reflect but whose screams come in
Waves upon you every morning breath 
Until you lock them away. 

I looked to the frame of light’s truth, 
Each day’s new portrait sketching the multiple realities of
me, Those which I choose to share and hide. 

I don’t know what happened to the mirror, 
But I couldn’t see my carefree smile. 
I was gazing at haziness 
Refracted in a funny way, 
Like that spider looking through the water 
At the world outside. 

Reflection skimmed past the surface to a place where
Bullets and raindrops fell side by side, 
Where young men and boys fired, 
Not feeling 
The webs of the spiders who exploded in their
midst, Not seeing 
The lives which spun before them. 
It was too easy.
And then I saw me again.
I did that.
I pushed a spider down the drain. 

Next time I see a spider, 
I will save him.

Ailbhe Curran

Ailbhe Curran is a teacher and writer from Co. Tipperary. She writes short fiction and poetry. Her work was most recently published in the literary journals, A New Ulster and Literally Stories.

CategoriesIssue VI