God Save the Cricket (1985)

As children out of hand
Gathered home from school
We watched a garden spider
Above the window sill
Enlarge the apercu of a sticky web
With two black legs atwitter
Parts unnamed as yet still
Larger than the life it was:
Poison and it bites!

We threw it crickets daily
Watched it sew its catch
A twig in desperation
Rebounding nonetheless, anything
That moved its web
The spider was obsessed
And weaved and wrapped
And wrapped and weaved
The iniquity of our gift.

We mocked its instinct more
(Certainly not for spider’s happiness
We fed it till it popped)
Just the crickets’ deaths
That taught us
Contempt for being one
Separation!  Cricket!
In that sticky microcosm
Of a dying world.

Save him who well
Learned the lesson different
The cricket that he tossed
With the weakest trace of pity
That set imagination raving
Fey insoluble doubts
Hurling ever faster than
Intellect is built.

Mercy!  Mercy!
Sense the ceaseless bounce!
Has since God made the spider or
The child who pitches thoughts.

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