14.1 (Fall 2009)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFMake the MagArchives2River
Bird Detail

Kevin Conder


there are spiders inside the walls
I can hear their thread legs
tick, tick , tick

the neighborhood houses sag
held up by only the fabric
of webs and we are grateful
for the spider's webs
they keep the summer thunder rains off our heads

as autumn rumbles more spiders fall from the sky like slow rain

sawdust flies
glass button rain slides along web strands and falls,
falls one by one,
falls in clumps,
waterfalls and torrents

by winter our houses are filled with so much web there
is no room for our bodies
even standing in the corners of the rooms
or stacked together like cords of wood

we stand outside looking in and freeze
with the winter freeze
freezing rain that coats us in
thick layers of translucent ice

when the sun returns we will melt into pools of cool grey mud
and great fat horseflies will feed off us

at least the horseflies will feed the spiders
at least the spiders will become men


the rubbery jaw of father in the mirror
the same busted nose I looked up at

his atoms have found me
flying across the distance and the years
even as he is erased
his hands

my daughter looks like me from the upper lip up
more so every day
angles, fractures of light
scattered in late afternoon

the colors the dust motes of suspended skin

his heart is coming for me next
great old wretched lion heart
that I cannot take

but with a stare
of her cobalt blue eyes
she will

without fury or hesitation
she will hold it inside and let it beat within her
and protect me from it

even as I struggle not to become him
she reaches out
small chubby hands
quartz fingers

Kevin Conder lives in Portland, Oregon. His poetry has appeared in 42Opus, North American Review, The Pacific Review, Quiddity, and Snow Monkey. In the past, he has taught English to students from China, Yugoslavia, and Russia. contact