The Spider and the Bike

November 14, 2012

Photo courtesy Mapelc

Here’s a delightful poem by Douglas S. Jones about a bicycle rider sharing his bike with a spider. Jones lives in Michigan and spiders live just about everywhere. [Introduction by Ted Kooser.]


The spider living in the bike seat has finally spun
its own spokes through the wheels.
I have seen it crawl upside down, armored
black and jigging back to the hollow frame,
have felt the stickiness break
as the tire pulls free the stitches of last night’s sewing.
We’ve ridden this bike together for a week now,
two legs in gyre by daylight, and at night,
the eight converting gears into looms, handle bars
into sails. This is how it is to be part of a cycle—
to be always in motion, and to be always
woven to something else.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2011 by Douglas S. Jones, whose most recent book of poems is the chapbook No Turning East, Pudding House Press, 2011. Poem reprinted from The Pinch, Vol. 31, no. 2, 2011, by permission of Douglas S. Jones and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2012 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

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  1. I hope that it is not a biting, sort of spider! In a way, spiders are very determined creatures, weaving those webs daily and not giving up when their work is ruined.

    Hooe that things are well with all, of you, Kathy!

    Kathy M.

  2. Kathy--I kept thinking, "What if the spider comes out and bites you while you're riding!"

    Things are good here--hope you're doing well, also!

  3. Cute poem - I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.