Example of Heaven in the Design of a Web

Take, for instance, this spider.

Some see an hourglass

on her stomach

or a bright eye peering

through a door into hell. Others

see fire just beyond

a stand of spruce

turning a hillside to ash.

But I see a red compass arrow

sweeping a dark sky

making an X as it searches

North, as if correcting the stars

beginning to take shape in the night.

I didn’t know I could fear

something as small as this—

that I would wake

feeling the soft-as-nothing touch

in my hair, down my chest,

and legs, and run my hands

over the cold sheets

and blanket and remember

I was alone. I didn’t know

I would see dew

caught in a web as a spider

floated between a cage of grass

on a wind you wouldn’t believe

existed, and understand

she had been there all along

working to mimic

an unfinished pattern

for everything.


Matthew Wimberley lives in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. His chapbook "Snake Mountain Almanac" was selected by Eduardo C. Corral as the winner of the 2014 Rane Arroyo Chapbook Contest from Seven Kitchens Press. Winner of the 2015 William Matthews Prize from the Asheville Review, and a finalist for the 2012 Narrative 30 Below Contest, his writing has appeared in: The Greensboro Review, The Missouri Review, Narrative, Orion, The Paris-American, Poet Lore, Rattle, Shenandoah, and Verse Daily. Wimberley received his MFA from NYU where he worked with children at St. Mary's Hospital as a Starworks Fellow. Wimberley was a finalist for the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Book Award.