Weekly Feature: Poetry at The Arts Fuse

Welcome to “Poetry at The Arts Fuse.” A new poem every Thursday.



A quick jitter on the ground, her bulbous back pebbled with bumps,
like a pincushion dark-plumped with brown and tan pins—a wolf spider
carrying her spiderlings, tightly furled, maybe just hatched, on her back.

I won’t call it love. But how carefully she must have carried
the egg sac teed high between her spinnerets to keep from dragging it
on the ground. Mended tears. Mouthed tiny holes in the silken globe

to help her young hatch. Let them crawl onto her back. How,
without a web, she will travel and hunt, blanketed with baby spiders,
until they’re sturdy enough to climb down. Not how I carried my own

daughter and son—the Snugli, the sling, the baby backpack and stroller.
Now how my mother carried me in her womb and worry, primed
by her previous mis-carryings. There are so many ways to be held

in this world. Maybe for the wolf spider, there’s no time or need for love.
So many hatchlings who will, in a few days or a week, be free of needing her.
But I swear, seeing her there: she was more than a vehicle, her spiderlings

more than mere cargo. That in her otherness, she was mothering
those hundreds of eggs, those eight-hundred some tiny legs
about to tumble out into the scurry and the scramble—

Wendy Drexler is a recipient of a 2022 artist fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her fourth collection, Notes from the Column of Memory, was published in September 2022 by Terrapin Books. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, J Journal, Lily Poetry Review, Nimrod, Pangyrus, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, Solstice, The Atlanta Review, The Mid-American Review, The Sun, and The Threepenny Review, among others. She was the poet in residence at New Mission High School in Hyde Park, MA, from 2018 to 2023 and is programming co-chair for the New England Poetry Club.

Note: Hey poets! We seek submissions of excellent poetry from across the length and breadth of contemporary poetics. See submission guidelines here. The arbiter of the feature is the magazine’s poetry editor, John Mulrooney.

Arts Fuse editor Bill Marx


  1. Myra Sacks on December 22, 2023 at 12:18 am

    Xo myra

  2. John Tyson on December 30, 2023 at 5:38 am

    Beautiful and touching. A beacon for being more understanding and compassionate to all beings.

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