Friday, January 31, 2014

The Rime of the Florida Spider



The world is full of many things,
And some of them are grim.
When we first moved to Florida,
Some warnings were prelim:

Beware the ocean's strong riptides.
Beware the fire ants.
Beware bad drivers from up North
Who've moved here as transplants.
Beware the alligator's tooth,
Beware palmetto bug.
Those things will kill you (gospel truth!)
More quickly than a drug.

But such a list is incomplete,
Without this one last rider:
To live here is to grapple with
The great South Florida spider.

Spiders, spiders everywhere
And all my soul did shrink.
Spiders, spiders everywhere--
Don't breathe. Don't move. Don't blink.

Widow, Huntsman, Wolf and Lynx
Get up to the worst hijinks.
Orbweaver and Ogreface
Spin their webs just anyplace.
Purseweb spiders sound pretend,
But they're real, and a friend 
To Trapdoor spiders (those who snap
Up whatever they trap in traps.)
Banana spiders are gigantic
But not bad, so don't get frantic.
That's the time for heart attacks.

Spiders, spiders everywhere
And all my soul did shrink.
Spiders, spiders everywhere--
Don't breathe. Don't move. Don't blink.

If you want to live down here,
You'll have to learn to handle
Spiders all over the place: 
In cars, on beds, in sandals,
In your closet and your desk,
In sickness or in health,
You'll see them perching there, grotesque.

And then you'll wet yourself. 

You'll slap at them with books and shoes,
Or trap them under mugs.
You'll wonder why you moved down here.
You must have been on drugs!

The Florida sun is nice and hot
(As long as it is shining),
And sure, there's no state income tax,
So that's a silver lining. 
But there are problems with this state--
Take this from an insider.
The very biggest of them all's
The Great South Florida Spider.

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