A Prayer to Charlotte, in February

by Catherine Rockwood

Dear lady
of the eight legs, dame
of dry wit and outsize determination
your self-spun line
and hear us.

In need we call you
of the unsparing georgic
you who saw
how painful it is
to love brief life
and did it anyway

Aranea beatrix
help us now.

herald of hope’s season
soother of terrors
for one dear, mortal pig

we honor your loneliness
your proceedings by night
the hard work of hunting
and inductive imagination.

Teach us
what may be repaired
when the pattern is torn.

Guide us
from our day’s work
to mercy’s

one web
to a sky full of snow.

Catherine Rockwood’s poetry can be found in Antiphon, concīs, The Fem, Literary Imagination, and elsewhere. Essays and reviews in The Mom Egg Review, Rain Taxi, Strange Horizons, and Tin House. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.

Photo: “Eis-Netz” by -col-

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