HAVING REGRETTABLY KILLED A SPIDER
Having regrettably killed a spider
silently stalking the bedroom dresser,
I began to wonder why I did not
simply let her be, or calmly catch her;
rehome her in a tree. What is it that lurks
in me, defaulting insistently to
violence? — How do I gently set it free?
STRAWBERRY POEM #23
This little strawberry plant on the stoop
has been through it; tripped on, toppled, dumped out.
Face down clump of dirt beside the front door,
each time repotted once more, another
chance to defy the odds, growing despite
roots exposed to the elements, soil
soaked in dog piss. Pick it up and move it.
Starting all over again from nothing
is a particularly potent form
of progress — the coming Spring will prove it.
THINGS MY INFANT DAUGHTER TAUGHT ME ABOUT LABOR EXPLOITATION
I take no interest in work that disturbs
a sleeping infant.
For there is no work more worthwhile
than maintaining a place of peace
for a mind that cannot comprehend it.
Furthermore that which cannot be done
by choice among the crisp whims of quiet solitude
is not work at all—
it is mark-stepping time; toil
for the vampire class.
I know it well — the way it drains.
And so I will my hands
into knotted clubs of oak, keeping
time in generational circles of grain —
in service not of keeping some ghastly hand at bay
but so the work may be finished when the child awakes.
Michael Conner is an English Literature and New Testament scholar specifically interested in exploring society’s relationship with nature & the climate crisis. His nonfiction work has appeared in Tenderly Magazine. He resides in South Florida with his wife and daughter.