The Argiope

Alice Friman Click to read more...

Alice

Alice Friman has new poetry forthcoming in Ploughshares, Georgia Review, and Negative Capability. Her sixth collection is The View from Saturn, LSU. A new collection, Blood Weather, is due from LSU in 2019. She’s the winner of many awards, the latest, the 2016 Paumanok Poetry Award. She lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she was poet-in-residence at Georgia College.

[audio:http://shenandoahliterary.org/612/files/2011/08/Alice_The-Argiope.mp3|titles=The Argiope]

Between the weeping cherry
and the porch, the argiope
floats head down at the center
of an enviable patience.

Her egg sac—little ochre
marble, little kindergarten sun—

pasted to the rail: another
Pandora’s hope at the bottom of the box
one more artist won’t live to see.

The cherry cannot hold her
even with that weeping
any more than it can hold its pinks,
or October its fool’s gold.

One September night
she will dismantle all her silks
and disappear.

*  *

In here, on the desk,
an old photograph—

cousins, five of us, frozen
in the slanted sun
of our last free summer.

How patient we are
squinting for decades
and grinning into the camera
because we were good
and were told

except for the one
in her new kindergarten dress
with the white collar, the one
caught in a worried look

as if she were already
staring out this window,
watching the unthinkable going on.

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