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Seeing Things
by Angela Davis Tartaglia

Leave the spider on the ceiling
and let the old man dream,
all of the nurses agreed.
When the spider moved southwest,
he said, "Hurricanes in the gulf!"
but we all knew that from TV,
just like his other "predictions":
wars and famine, freeway accidents.
All of these he claimed to see
in the creature's random turns.

But that day his back was turned
when Annie came in for the night shift.
He didn't seem to hear a word.
"What's that spider saying now, Mr. Swann?"
Her cool hand smoothed his hair back.
"Why's he in the corner up there?"
But he just closed his eyes tight
that last day that Annie worked.
Closed his eyes; wouldn't say a word.

I just can't see a thing like a bullet
in a sweet girl like Annie...
in the bank at the wrong time
But he doesn't have to know about it.
He's an old man; his mind is gone.
Just today he fell out of bed,
screaming for us to kill the spider,
the one he loved to watch.
Wouldn't stop until it was dead,
crumpled under a broom.
No, I can't tell him.

The spider's gone,
but still he stares at the ceiling.
Let the old man dream.


Angela Davis Tartaglia is currently working on her first novel, a short story, and more poetry. Her poems have appeared in Poems Niederngasse, 3rd Muse, The Fairfield Review, and Plain Brown Wrapper. She lives in Dunedin, Florida with her husband Daniel, two daughters and two dogs. (No wonder she says her lucky letter is D.) Her e-mail address is danielt3@gte.net. And Angela swears her murderous poem Angelica is "only fiction."


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"Seeing Things" ©Angela Davis Tartaglia. Used by permission of the author.
 Raven Electrick ©2000-2001 Karen A. Romanko. Clipart by Corel®.