Paul McLaughlin

hurtling toward work
on a high-speed conveyor-belt freeway
boxed in by cars trucks vans
and a tail-gating SUV
going well over the limit

I notice an insect husk
spinning          spiraling
on a barely visible thread
in the slipstream of my driver's side mirror

think nothing of it until I see it's alive
a big brown spider
clinging to what's left of its web
crawling desperately millimeter by millimeter
toward the safety of the cowling around the mirror

and I think, this could be a metaphor for my life:
clinging to a gigantic out-of-control machine
spinning          spiraling in the turbulence
climbing desperately hand-over-hand
up a thread of my own making
toward a reflection I can hide behind

so when the spider reaches the mirror alive
I'm relieved for both of us

September 2000