There is a red fly swatter
on top of the refrigerator,
three steps away from any point 
in the kitchen, sure death
for any airborne invader,
no mercy shown.

On the windowsill
is one of those lidded,
round containers
which originally held
balsamic vinegar
for a take-out salad.

She uses it to capture
spiders, gently,
easing them into the cylinder
then sliding on the cover
so she can safely release them 

guarding the web of her kitchen.
I call it love.
I call it tenderness,
ecological concern,
maybe even
professional courtesy.

(First published in Front Porch Review - 2023)

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