The Release

My mother,
who ever withdrew in fright
at every crawling thing,
who squashed with shoe
and gassed with poison spray
the wildness and betrayal
in every black
arachnid heart,

on the day
she left this world,
beneath the California
skies she loved,
wheelchair-bound
in the hospital yard,
where the flowered fountain
bubbled and the setting sun
disturbed a notion
of some final peace
hovering in her soul,

only then found it
nestled in a folded shadow
of her lap blanket
and gently cupped
the garden spider
in her hand
to set it free
beside her
on the cool ground
of the soon-departing
earth.

Don Cadwallader

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