For my oldest son

After a high-strung summer,
we drive east one last time,
haphazard heaps of college gear
piled in the back of the van.
The sun rises red and alien
as if we woke up
on the wrong planet.
At least the fog is familiar,
bringing soft focus to plants
well past their prime.
Overnight, in fences
along the highway,
hundreds of spiders
have woven webs,
illuminated by dew
that glitters in the rising sun.

Beside me you sleep,
curls pressed into a pillow
that I remembered to pack.
Watching over your dreaming
feels intrusive. I turn back
to the road where each
luminous web reminds me–
whatever I’ve woven
on your behalf is insubstantial.
And, even the most fragile threads
can be a trap. The intricate
geometry of a mother’s love
glimpsed only when the careless sun
pierces the fog just so.