I noticed this spider one morning
a month or so ago
when I went out on the front porch
to hang the laundry. It didn’t flinch
when I flinched, startled
by its silent presence. It’s an Orb Spinner,
which we delight in seeing, but
it is usually later,
in the autumn,
when we find them in webs
in a corner of the barn
or in the flower bed. It is a little
early, and this one seemed
kind of small when I first saw it.
I avoid using the clothesline
near its web, though once
I forgot and the clothesline moved
and so did the spider,
just a bit.

I rarely see the spider move,
sleeping through the day,
perfectly still in that web
a fly or insect gets caught
in the sticky part of the web.
Feeling the web’s vibration,
Orb Spinner dashes
along a non-sticky line in the web,
stings the insect
then quickly casts a silky shroud around it
to keep it until suppertime.
I’ve only seen this
when, in the past, we intentionally
tossed small grasshoppers into the web
to show visitors the Orb Spinner in action.
These days,
I simply enjoy its presence
and watch it grow.