A Stilt of Daddy Longlegs

Robert Wrigley
| poetry


Call it that, this hatch or migration around
the campfire pit, so that they ascend
our own long legs, and we catch a glimpse of them
or their shadows scrambling over our knees,
and worse yet feel them
on our necks and faces
and thus spend every few minutes
shining our lights on the ground
around us and, picking dozens
lightly up, fling each one in the fire.
And feeling, it must be said, almost
no guilt whatsoever, regardless
of their harmlessness, their apocryphal
high toxicity and too-small-a-bite.
They vanish into the flames
without the least noise
or outward notice, and still
they keep coming, for it
is October, and they do this
a few days every year in October—
only at night and only around the fire,
while we try to talk
of other things and relax
but soon light our lights
and get on with it again

Robert Wrigley most recent book is Nemerov’s Door, a collection of essays, mostly about poetry. A new collection of poems, The True Account of Myself as a Bird, will appear in June 2022 from Penguin.

I See Signs of Autumn
On Hatred