At the Museum of Natural History my granddaughters and I seek dinosaurs
but chance upon the tarantulas --
Goliath Birdeaters, Curly Hairs,
Greenbottle Blues, Chilean Fires --
in an attempt to minimize horror
I read the poster:
a tarantula's too big to dwell on his web but will spin
a trip line to lead to his warren,
where he waits,
enabling him to catch and eat.
My granddaughters are enthralled
though I'm appalled. But -- yet another sign on the wall:
Though frightful, tarantula bites are not lethal
Saving grace! When venom strikes, just proceed down the wall
to the dinosaur hall.
Outside the drizzled window of our river home,
a possum treads with resolve across the meadow mown,
her sodden gaze directed at the further border,
where raggedy grass averts the lick of rain's gather.
This farm is her farm too, here she was born, here
she bore her children. Her mettled venture from the trees,
such purpose in her plod toward expected refuge,
twins our coming home. We rest before the prospect,
recall that recent day we watched the drenched wind rant
across the river, bluster our cove's accord, take breath and
billow the walls, uproot the poles of the tent arrayed
for our wedding feast. I could barely contain my terror that day.
Traveling there to here has been a crossing resolute
as that of the possum before us, marching through fescue.
Wendy Elizabeth Ingersoll's book Grace Only Follows won the 2010 National Federation of Press Women Contest and was a finalist for Drake University's 2012 Emerging Writer Prize. Her poems have appeared in Naugatuck River Review, Passager, Caesura, Controlled Burn, Broadkill Review, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is a retired piano teacher.