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On seeing a black spider in my bathroom basin, by Britta Benson

On seeing a black spider in my bathroom basin

She’s like a matt black star in a shiny white sky.

I name her Stella and I scream only on the inside.

She’s the size of my thumbnail, a mighty behemoth

in a tiny universe where scale and perspective are

everything. I close the door and come back later.

Stella’s still there and we have a chat. I tell her that

I’ll have to rehouse her, I’ll give her plenty of space

in my garden. Not exactly prime real estate, more

of a starter home. Spacious, from a spider’s point

of view, I guess and we come to an understanding.

I scoop her up on a scrap of paper, quite a modest

transport to her paradise. When I put her down on

the wet paving slab, she is not best pleased and

scurries under the leaf of a foxglove for shelter.

She’s in a huff with me now. It’s for your best, I say,

like a strict parent. She takes the strop and does

not even care. She must be a teenager. Oh Stella!

Britta Benson


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