Lesser Common Rustic | Fay Musselwhite

At my elbow I hear a faint judder
of something soft, spring-loaded, in trouble
in the windowsill clutter. I shift an old bottle,
lift a plant pot to uncover an earth-coloured moth
seized in the struggle to shake off a rough
fur cape of dust and disintegrating web,
though his panic-flapping only whips it up
to wind it closer in.

I make an open grab, moth quivers, still
hemmed in, his wing-breath winnowing my palm
as I pull clingy clumps from a blur of parts.
Wary of a snag or pixel smudge, I pick
at house-lint steeped in tar left by the spider’s snare,
which, it seems, grew stickier as structure failed,
till the tiny living dynamo can shed his last
shreds of robe. I barely see him go.

‘Lesser Common Rustic’ appears in Fay Musselwhite’s debut collection Contraflow.

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