Jousting Match

Soaking in sunlight I watch

Dragonflies cruising and darting:

Insect hawks, lords of the small sky.

A burly jumping spider, the size of a mung bean

Ambles along my sleeve.

Its silken dragline shimmers in the sun,

At the ready to anchor an attack or escape.

I smile because I know jumpers are intrepid.

A thin stem of grass becomes my pike

And I carefully move my free hand

Till the miniature iridescent sumo wrestler,

With remarkable vision sees my challenge

and stops to consider, twisting to face this intruder.

As I move my hand the spider keeps its eight shiny eyes

fixed, still weighing the threat.

Slowly I bring my pike to confront.

The brave mote rears back and we begin to joust.

It parries my gentle prodding yielding not a step.

After a minute’s match it deems the game trivial

and leaps, rappelling off planet Don.

WORDS