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.”