Ode to Grandmother Spider
by J Kovach


Wisdom in many legs
Surprise!
Come to me. I see
walking
slowly.
My racing heart spins
memories like baskets.
I am in awe of the things I am not allowed the think of
anymore.

Childhood, the rez
Spider on the wall.
Daddy’s stinging breath
embittered by booze
by disease
by poverty but he said
“Child, know your heart.”
But he knew his
and he died
alone.
Alone in the dark,
beaten and stabbed in the bar
he gave all our money too.
White face turned away, waiting for us all to die
and others to sprout anew.
“Know your heart…”

I forgot my heart, afraid.
Spider found me sobbing at the water’s edge.
Water—
mine mixing with river:
Spider reminded me
we came from the same place.
“You are as strong as river
made up of many drops
each drop adding
until you are a torrent, a flood.”
And my father died alone.

Brown face turned away, waiting to die
Grandmother spider sat alone
patient
waiting
silent.



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J Kovach is a writer, artist, musician, and sociologist. Born and raised in the rough parts of Portland, her inspiration started from the tiny bits of color and beauty that were imbedded all around her in the gritty streets. She now resides in Seattle where she studies sociology and forensics.