It’s Tuesday. The second blue sky of the week, first to carry winter’s bite. Grass has that damp wilted look that echoes cold. Its edges are withered. The ivy on the telegraph pole has gone spindly and cobwebs glisten left, right and centre. You’d swear we had a spider invasion but it’s only the cold making them shine. Like lace they are, and fine lace at that.
‘Silver sparkled circles shine
When morning casts her dew
Golden glints on every line
As sunshine scatters through
Wakey, wakey little one
No time to stay abed
Stretch your legs and fix your web
Your children must be fed.’
Who wrote that? Was it a man or a woman? I think it was a man. Could have been a woman with a mannish name. ‘Twas one of those names you could give a man or woman. Was it Francis? Maybe it was Leslie. Was it Leslie I wonder? Feck. I can’t remember. Now I’ll spend the whole day thinking about it and it won’t come to me ’til three o’clock tomorrow morning. What’s the bet? And I won’t get a wink of sleep ’til that happens. I’m a right egit, myself and my spider poems. Haven’t spiders always been around, no more than myself? Webs and wrinkles. The old reliables and I sporting both side by side. I have enough on me to cover the hide of an elephant. Dementia too, that’s what the neighbours will think if they hear me talking to myself, and worse still, reciting poetry I must have learnt sixty years ago. Thank God for thick walls, otherwise I’d be in a home for the bewildered.
Mind you, that was a catchy poem though I was always convinced, man or woman, ‘twas written by someone who liked to persecute small children. Either that or he hated them outright. ‘Silver sparkled circles shine.’ Jesus! What child could say that? And who in their right mind would ask them to? I must have been the best part of a week trying to get my mouth around it when we had to learn it in school. And poor Bridie Murray, herself and her lisp. She had half the class drowned by the time she got to the end of the first verse, and herself damn near drowned by the end of the second, God bless the mark. But no one teased her for it. Who would dare? She was a foot and a half taller than all the rest of us and had four strapping brothers that were nothing short of giants. ‘Sparkled silver circles’ my backside. I can’t get it right even now.