David Lewis Paget
I’d seen her wander along the street
A number of times, or more,
And know I should have approached her then
But she might have said, ‘what for?’
I could have asked for a date, but then
I left it much too late,
And saw her then with a guy called Ben,
But he looked like spider bait.
He had a straggly beard and hair
That stood up straight in spikes,
I don’t know what she could see in him
For my first response was ‘Yikes!’
His frame was thin and all caving in
And his clothes were contrabands,
But he clutched at her with a bony paw,
With hair on the back of his hands.
She went to stay at his cottage, which
Was set at the edge of the wood,
More of a tumbledown shack, I thought,
Not right for that neighbourhood,
It lay half-hidden between the trees
With their foliage hanging down,
You had to push past the bushes that
Enclosed the whole surround.
She’d sit out on the verandah with
The sun about to set,
While I would creep in around there
For a glimpse of her, Colette.
I thought, perhaps if she saw me there
She might come out to see,
And once I’d managed to talk to her
She’d fall in love with me.
But Ben would never let go of her
Nor let her out of his sight,
He kept her there by the spiders that
Would weave their webs each night,
From every dangling branch there hung
An orb web in the breeze,
And in each centre a spider that
Would make Colette’s blood freeze.
I think he must have been breeding them
He seemed to take delight,
In pointing out how the thousands seemed
To weave there every night,
Then she began to withdraw from him
And refuse his coarse demands,
Whenever he went to reach for her
With his scrawny, hairy hands.
The webs ballooned and they hit the roof
Formed a blanket from the trees,
They covered the little cottage and
I heard her frightened pleas,
She couldn’t leave the verandah though
She said she’d have to go,
He said that he was a spider man,
And that’s when I heard his ‘No!’
She didn’t come out again for days
And I heard her cry at night,
‘I hate this place, and I hate your face,’
But he said, ‘You’re my delight.’
A week went by and I heard her sigh,
The last sound that she made,
So I burst through all the gossamer webs
With an old and rusty blade.
He was knelt beside her form supine
In the corner of the room,
While she was wrapped in gossamer fine
And looked like a large cocoon,
I lashed out with the rusty blade
And cut off his evil head,
When thousands of spiders scurried out
From his neck, and over the bed.
I cut her out of the tight cocoon
And peeled it back from her face,
She hugged me in the gathering gloom
And said, ‘Let’s leave this place.’
I’d like to say that she went with me
But I’d left my run too late,
‘I’ll never look at a man again
Since he made me spider bait.’
David Lewis Paget
© 2017, David Lewis Paget. All rights reserved.