THE ASTRONAUT
Camouflaged, he awaits the signal,
not the breeze –
which breathes along his branch,
shaking his home,
vibrating his platform to which he clings;
no, he is driven by instinct.
His lifeline is attached to the leaf’s underside;
so the astronaut spider jettisons into space,
beyond rowan tree safety.
Descending to my eye level he is
a giant in mid air;
on unknown territory he is brave floating,
seeming without aid,
his silk thread unseen in sunlight. There,
this black beige striped being twists into stillness,
with spread legs dangling.
Far from earth,
Daring as any astronaut depending on his cord,
the garden spider completes his survey;
with no other leaf in sight he cannot weave his web.
Inching up in somersaults and walks,
he rewinds his thread;
writhes toward his tree station with no hesitation.
Reaching the high bay he rests on the edge,
from the platform he crawls back in, to shelter.
--------- by Mary Percival
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