The First Day Back

by Ríonach Aiken



The First Day Back

How is it that
even in the most maligned of tasks
life can enter?

On my train in
I see a shining spider's thread
spanning the knees of crammed commuters
back and forth, stitching
our heads-down absorbed remoteness

My hand itches.
It is the spider, small and brown.
It dangles from the end of my pen,
scrawls across the blank rows
of my open notebook
as if to say

It is my first day back
and the dread melts.

Hard to believe, I know,
but the same thing happens
on my way home.

Not a spider this time
but a seed
floating in its orb of filaments.

Following its own rhythm
it traverses the carriage above our heads,
seeking fertile soil.

It moves closer,
lands on the white shirt
of the traveller next to me,
idles a while over his heart
as he dozes.

Here, it says,
then drifts off down the aisle
and out the window.

Life reaches out,
anoints us all in everyday ways,
weaving me back into the world.


 - Ríonach Aiken

Published in Junction: an anthology by Poetry ID, 2013.

photo credit: NicO_l from Shutterstock
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