there were spiders in her head
ghosting on her nerves
spinning webs and laying eggs.

one crept in at her father’s funeral—
i saw her face flinch in pain amid
pains, a moment’s confusion lost to
the pummelling taunts of grief.

and there it must have lain awhile,
before multiplying to compound
fractures, sever connections that
should heal in time and growth.

what else could make her act so
without reason or mercy, to smile
an instant before boredom blanks
those unseeable eyes.

and what price exacted when head
falls to pillow? dreams denied of a
girl at play with daddy, of a world
that took none before time.

and the webs strengthen, choking
the bloodflow of conscience;
grace; affection; those little things
that make us alive in ourselves.