A mirror is meaningless to the black-lace-weaver,
for she might as well be her own reflection.
Spider lady with neither past to remember
nor future to regret.
The ultimate unexamined life,
yet she lives it on her own woven silk
calling forth her hungry spiderlings,
goading them by plucking silver strings,
playing her own dirge till her brood is roused,
and a shroud of a hundred devours her.
She who never really was, never really dies
for she segues into the next generation
and is exuded through their spinnerets
as liquid silk drying in air.
And they in turn play harpists
each plucking their own silver strings
replaying the timeless tune of maternal sacrifice.
But the black-lace-weaver
is neither mother Mother Mary nor Medea
for mother nature casts her in a most primal production,
offering no choice but to play the curtain-closing scene by rote.
Surprise endings are reserved for more difficult plays,
that star human actresses free to gaze into mirrors
and apply the appropriate make-up
for whatever maternal roles they choose to play.
Richard Fein was a finalist in The 2004 New York Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition. A chapbook of his poems was published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been published in many web and print journals such as Cordite, Cortland Review, Reed, Southern Review, Roanoke Review, Green Silk Journal, Birmingham Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, Paris/atlantic, Canadian Dimension, Black Swan Review, Exquisite Corpse, Foliate Oak, Morpo Review, Ken*Again Oregon East, Southern Humanities Review, Morpo, Skyline, Touchstone, Windsor Review, Maverick, Parnassus Literary Review, Small Pond, Kansas Quarterly, Blue Unicorn, Exquisite Corpse, Terrain Aroostook Review, Compass Rose, Whiskey Island Review, Oregon East, Bad Penny Review, Constellations, The Kentucky Review and many others.