The Broom and The Spider

When the calloused hand that grips my handle
sweeps my bristles through your fragile beauty,
the threads collapse and cling in clumps to me.
For the love of god, I feel such pity,
said the broom to the spider.

Brace yourself and wipe away the spent threads.
Symmetry provides me nourishment.
The laboring hand destroys what I invent.
It should be so. Nothing is permanent,
said the spider to the broom.


About This Poem

I started this poem in 2012 or 2013. In the early drafts, I wrote “guiding hand,” in the second stanza. I didn’t look at the poem for a long time. Now it seems obvious that “guiding hand” is too easily interpreted as “invisible hand,” which is not what I wanted to communicate.

I tried “reckless hand,” “juvenile hand,” “senseless hand,” “thoughtless hand,” and “hasty hand,” before settling on “laboring hand.”