Confession

There’s a spider in the bathtub.
I saw him last night, and he’s still there
this morning, though I gave him fair warning
when I brushed my teeth before bed.
I need to take a shower.
But there’s a SPIDER.
In the BATHTUB.
My Dr. Schweitzer is arguing with my Eek.
He’s small –
smaller than a shirt button –
and round and 8 legs look like 3 too many.
But he’s in the BATHTUB.
Where I SHOWER.
NAKED.
I turn on the water, and he wiggles
a couple of legs but the spray doesn’t hit him,
so I don’t get a pass from Karma.
Then my Eek takes over,
and I get a piece of toilet paper,
and he wiggles 2 legs again but doesn’t run
so my Eek doesn’t get to plead self-defense.
I try to make it painless –
a squish and done – but then I wonder
if he was just trying to say hello,
and the shower’s kind of lonely
without him in there waving at me.

– Sarah Russell
For Poets United Poetry Pantry
First published in Your Daily Poem
Photo source

51 thoughts on “Confession

  1. Oh, I love this poem! So hard to have a spider in one’s bathtub. I enjoyed the idea of letting him continue to live there overnight, seeing it AGAIN in the morning and then squishing the poor thing. I could really picture the whole scenario.

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  2. Know this may sound strange, but I was hoping the little one (i.e. spider) would survive unharmed, when you mentioned it. Strongly appealing to my “David v Goliath”, which naturally, I am supporting “David”. Besides, the little guy isn’t hurting you. Do hope the two of you have reached an agreement, which you share the bathroom.

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    1. I try to make myself do that too, but only if they go willingly. If they start running, I start beating them with my shoe. Hey, we all have things we’re not proud of, right? :-/

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  3. I love this! It reminds me of a recent experience with our arachnid friends when, like you, my principles were pushed too far. There was a spider in the bed. I knew it was there; I had seen it. But we couldn’t find it. We dismantled the sheets, duvet, pillow cases… And it was finally found and placed safely outside. And we slept. But in the morning there was another spider – a smaller one so I know it wasn’t the same one – and this spider was on my pillow when I got up. It was a step too far. I was scarcely awake. That’s my excuse anyway. I fed it to the cat. And I’m hanging my head in shame at the memory…
    🙂

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    1. Yes, the old saw about what’s worse than finding a worm in an apple? Half a worm, has a correlation— what’s worse than finding a spider in the bed? TWO spiders. Gives me the heebie jeebies!

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  4. What’s worse than a spider in the bathrub? A spider in the bed! Either way, I would quickly escort them to that great spider haven in the skies! (But first I’d want that one in the bed to reassure me he was a bachelor and had no family.)

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    1. I agree. Spiders in bed are worse than spiders in bathtubs. I make great ceremony of throwing back the sheets quickly when I sleep in a strange bed, just to check. Come to think of it, I should do that a home. That’s the only place I’ve awakened with a spider bite a couple of times…

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  5. I love “My Dr. Schweitzer is arguing with my eek” 😊 and thought this a wonderful poem. I usually ignore those spiders.. don’t have the heart to harm them. 💜

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  6. Love how the eek is a thing… which it is…outside of us…like a taunt. Of course, down here, we just shrug at spiders… but the red centipedes have me jumping out of the shower 🙂

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  7. Very cool: “My Dr. Schweitzer is arguing with my Eek.” I have had the very same dilemma. i’m not EEK about spiders–I just like to shower alone–and without murdering someone to do it.

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  8. This poem could be written for my husband, who uses the Dr Schweitzer technique religiously. I like spiders and don’t mind them hanging out in the bathroom, but I also prefer to shower alone. I enjoyed this poem, Sarah, especially ‘My Dr. Schweitzer is arguing with my Eek’.

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  9. The poem is done well, but I have trouble laughing at the humorous touches. Though big spiders scare me, and also give me the creeps (I can’t help my human reaction) I still prefer not to harm any spiders. They are such amazingly sentient beings, and very responsive to telepathy! If I found a venomous one in the house, I’d stomp on it fast, but not others. Unfortunately I sometimes kill the tiny ones by accident, thinking I’m squashing an ant, or not noticing until too late a small something in the way when I turn on the hot water in the basin.

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  10. It has happened many times to me. I always give thanks he is not bigger. Then I take a length of tissue, make a loose ball, and carefully scoop him up, and take him outside. I’m sure he won’t hurt you.

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    1. It’s the Eek factor that makes me crazy, Annelle. Well that, and the fact that I’m naked and going through the house to let him loose when he might get out of the tissue and………

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  11. You’ve touched on a universal dilemma. Sometimes it’s us or them. Sometimes I take the spider in tissue paper outside, but I squish squash bugs eating my vegetables with my bare hands and without remorse.

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    1. Yes, it does call into question all of our work-arounds, doesn’t it — we wear shoes, eat chicken, but pity the poor spider. There’s something haywire with our reasoning, certainly.

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  12. Got a pingback on my blog from my post “Proof That Spiders Are Actual Devil Spawn” on this. I relate to the poem on a spiritual level. Love it! Definitely following your blog for more poetry.

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    1. Thanks so much! And thanks for the fabulous spider picture that I used that was on your blog. It was perfect! I googled pictures of spiders in bathtubs, and there must have been a hundred that came up in the search. Yours was the best!

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