Good Vibrations

Natalie Homer


Cyclosa is a genus of spiders whose webs contain a vertical line of prey remains and other debris, which probably serve to camouflage the spiders.

Midsummer, I notice the webs stretched over the porch chairs, the peonies.
These small tenants of the word dress in their own detritus—
corsets of exoskeleton and silk.
There’s something comforting about camouflage:
seeing without being seen.

In the mail: a card from my grandmother.
I open it, but it is unreadable like the others have been—
the cursive hopelessly optimistic.

When she was young, she danced, won beauty pageants.
I guess you’d call her a prairie rose, my mom says.
I like to imagine her this way—bright again,
her face smoothed, a crown on her head—
misted, silver, the rhinestones like drops of dew.

Once, during a storm, lightning reached through the window,
hit the sewing machine. That’s the story, anyway.
Her mother was sewing her sister’s wedding dress at the time.
The old joke: lightning aside, it’s hard to work with lace.

Now, my grandmother has wreathed herself, her home, her yard—
in Goodwill finds, garage sale trinketry.
The house, built by her parents, has become an island
squeezed between a car lot, train tracks, a plumbing supply co.
In the back yard, between the walnut trees, a cracked fountain
sits, waterless—a ponytailed girl pouring air into dust.


Natalie Homer is the author of the chapbook Attic of the Skull (dancing girl press). Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Journal, the minnesota review, Blue Earth Review, The Pinch, The Lascaux Review, Ruminate, Salamander, Cosmonauts Avenue, and others. She earned an MFA from West Virginia University and lives in southwestern Pennsylvania.