Counting spider-legs

I had to fight to find
my place,
in my war for life,
I had to claim
a cozy cot inside
this sheltered uterus
carved in fissured gneis,
and dig myself
a bed through layers
of decay and mulch.

I’m resting,
caveman-deep below
for the troops above
to leave.

Before the wars
when we were numerous
when we still
could fill
our swollen bellies
with mash and meat
and not the filth and fungi
from the flesh
of our buried soldiers.

I count the leg of spiders
and wonder why
they now have ten.

For Izy at toads asking us to give a point of view from a fallout shelter…

September 16, 2019

12 responses to “Counting spider-legs

  1. Stunning, Bjorn! I like how there are echoes of warfare above and underground. From eating the dead in place of meat and mash to the spiders with too many legs….just….just sooooooo well done. Thanks for posting to the out of standard!

  2. These folk are bad off, Bjorn, you didn’t let up on that. Spending time in corners and on the ground where spiders crawl. Get to know their habits, ways and diets, and their make up. Before the war they could have answered their question using google. I will ask for them.

  3. The title hooked me good and proper, Björn, and the thought of digging through layers of decay to claim a cot inside a sheltered underground uterus is chilling – as are the spiders with ten legs!

  4. Humans inability to meld into the rest of this planets in habitants and warring with its own kind does make me think we were once alien beings left here as we were unfit on some other planet and got deported! Sadly we are never going to fit in.

  5. beneath the feet of the enemy soldiers – the ending images are gruesome as well – You captured the ugliness of war (and desperate survival) very well!

  6. I know that under Paris the catacombs — limestone caverns originally quarried, then become boneyards for all the city’s overspilling cemeteries — were bomb shelters during the Second World War, and where the resistance hid, and then the Vichy government in flight — so many uses for these deep places. Such a long communion with the dead, as with the speaker here. Well done. Being dead isn’t the worst of it…

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