Catching Places

Catching Places
Renee Emerson

A firstborn, my daughter memorizes this battle—
a black mud dauber caught by the hind leg
in a spider web that once softened
the corner outside of her window. The spider
has tenderly pasted three egg sacks
in the web above the raucous, a sun, moon,
earth suspended. The spider waits,
which spiders are good at doing, I say,
and the dauber whirls, rests, opens wide
her mandibles. She’ll tire out,
I tell her, hand on her shoulder,
and I can’t help but recall the times I have
tired out, played the game wrong,
had web on one leg then another.
Can anything pull itself free?
The world is full of catching places,
and I am happy in mine, gathering
from the earth to wall
my home. The spider hangs above me,
just far enough, and patiently.