Nocturnal Journey

by Jerry Willis

Tonight the spider creeps out from under the dresser.
The spider senses the darkness. She senses that all others
are asleep in this place. She senses these things for
she is a spider who creeps out at night. In some circles spiders are

called arachnids. She is not out foraging. She is
going for a walk. The arachnid is going for a walk like
we might on a Sunday in the park. She carries a passel
of spiderlings in the satchel on her back. She has

eight beady eyes. Her eyes are cold—these are the
eyes of an arachnid. They contain no emotion.
She is an emotionless spider out for a stroll in the dark.
The spider leaves the room where the human sleeps.

She inches into the kitchen. The spider
detects the pets who slumber on the floor
around the corner. The arachnid creeps toward
the snoozers who sprawl on flimsy, stinky

cushions. Now the spider has a destination
but still no purpose. What impels Spider’s nocturnal journey,
one may ask. Who knows, but by the time Arachnid
has crept to the edge of the kitchen, the first shaft

of morning light squeezes through the shuttered windows.
Sunlight stings her tiny brain.
Spider with her sack of babies scurries back
into the darkness beneath the stove. This night’s journey

is done. Arachnid and her spiderlings will never return
whence they came. Weave a new web and start again.

Jerry Willis lives in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, where he has practiced law for the past twenty-five-plus years. Poetry is one of his fondest avocations, both reading it and writing it.

About Nocturnal Journey—The idea for this poem came to me late at night as I lay in bed. While my dogs were sleeping in the next room, I wondered what other creatures were stirring in my house.