Orb Weavers

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Ubiquitous now fall’s in town, They’ll vanish as the season ebbs. Till then, we pay them due regard And, working in the shed or yard, Steer clear of where they, upside down, Hang in the center of their webs.

Disturbed, they scramble to a rafter Or drop and hide where leaves have fallen. At times, fog beads their webs with wet, And windblown twigs are all they net. At times, balked of the prey they’re after, They catch and dine on grains of pollen.

We read in the great wheels they rig Epitomes of patient skill. Some of us think of E. B. White, Whose spider used her webs to write Encomia for her friend the pig And made him too renowned to kill.

Before they perish, they’ll prepare A brood of future engineers: They’ll find a safe spot to attach An egg sac; come spring, young will hatch And, casting silk chutes to the air, Balloon away to their careers.

For now, these ancient ones remain. Matrons of the autumnal scene, Plump and attired in black and gold, They spin, in night’s enriching cold, Their galaxies of strands and reign Under the stars of Halloween.