by Whitney Waters

Spiderwebs glint in sunlight, hide
beneath the shade of trees. Delicate tethers
connecting limb to limb. The intricate woven patterns,
corners and angles. They break
against my body as I run through the woods, sticky tangles
on my face and arms. We think our lives belong to us.
All the things we try for ending in one small death.

On my way home, I see a car dangling
by threads from a highway bridge. Front end smashed,
the shallow river below, brown and glittering,
taking its time between rock and dirt.
The clouds could crush us at any moment if they choose to.
A crowd of people gathered under the bridge.
A woman and her children watching.

Whitney Waters has a BA in Creative writing from Elon University. She has lived in Asheville since 2010 and enjoys trail running, cooking, cats, and poetry.

About Tether—This poem was inspired by a wreck I saw on my way home from work one day. Seeing this car dangling from a bridge reminded me of the fragility of life.