Spider Heaven

by flammeusgladius

Spider Heaven


(for Teresa)


The spiders that I’ve slain down through the years

Because their presence made you cry, “Dad!  Dad!”—

They wait in Spider Heaven now.  In tears,

I think of it and find it more than sad.

Arachnids in the afterlife are mad

As hell at me: their heaven is my hell!

They’ll give me worse than I have ever had.

They’ll bite my flesh and up my flesh will swell.

Or will it be my soul?  I dare not tell.

Confusion settles, deadlier than dread,

On my heart, for I’m under Shelob’s spell.

Paralyzed, I can hardly move ahead.

All that I know is that you need to pray.

Let me from Spider Heaven stay away!



–Tom Riley

(First appeared in The Lyric, v. 93, n. 4, Fall 2013)