A Spider, Yellow, Fat , and Round
This poem sprang from the incident of an intensely yellow spider suddenly appearing on the steering wheel of my car, frightening my passenger & very dear friend, who asked me to throw it out the window. Instead I was able to pull into a parking lot and gently deposit it in a flower bed. Later that night, while looking up another of his work, we chanced upon "Design" by Robert Frost, which begins "I found a dimpled spider , fat and white." The challenge became to write something about the yellow spider.
A few days later my friend researched the yellow spider at the library and thus learned that it was undoubtedly a Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumera vatia), a lurking spider which hides in flowers and ambushes insect prey. Coloration ranges from yellow to white and may be dimpled, with the individual able to change color gradually over several days. The spider's range includes California and New England, thus it is quite possible that Frost's "dimpled spider, fat and white" was also a member of this species.
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