• evewestbessier

The Wednesday Morning Post


Driving in our neighborhood,

I spot something crossing

the street ahead,

something very arachnid.

“That's a tarantula!”

my partner says,

with great enthusiasm.

“A teenager,” he adds.

We stop the car, get out,

take a closer look,

me with curiosity mixed

with a tinge of the willies.

We have a tarantula

living on our property,

but I haven't seen it.

My partner has, but only once.

She is female, he declares,

and moves her nest regularly.

Last week, her nest and web

were in the top of a partially

hollowed-out, upright

railroad tie just outside our patio door.

A penthouse apartment.

She is nomadic in an attempt to escape

the dreaded tarantula wasp,

whose sting will lead

to her being the unwilling

host of the wasp's offspring,

which will kill her from the inside

to renew their own species

at her demise.

This tarantula, creeping along

in the middle of the road,

is male, adolescent, and expressing

its instinctual “manhood”

by searching out a female,

who apparently lives

across the street, not on his side,

a life-threatening inconvenience,

as he blends so well with the asphalt.

He is mostly black, with a surprising

red-orange body that sticks out

like the jacked-up rear end

of a Chevy Nova cruising

the El Camino Real for chicas.

He is skinny and long-legged,

like a gangly human male adolescent,

and probably just as hungry.

We watch him creep toward his destination,

until he is safely out of the way of ours.

Then we drive away.

A few days later,

in about the same location,

I see him again,

apparently still courting,

and by no small piece of luck,

still alive!

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