I awaken to a whisper . . . my third grade teacher’s gentle voice . . . her name like a single spider thread in a shadowed corner.
Soon I turn to daily chores, raise the purple-headed duster to banish all filaments lit by the sun. Outside the front door a web holds its latest victim, still fluttering. I release the small brown moth, dust her powder from my fingertips and recall . . .
Mrs. Harms, a strange title for a guiding spirit who taught us to make leaf prints at a Brooklyn school without a single tree in its wire-fenced yard.
Arlene L. Mandell, a retired English professor who lives in Santa Rosa, CA, has published more than 500 poems, essays and short stories in newspapers, literary journals, and anthologies. Her echapbook, Scenes from My Life on Hemlock Street: A Brooklyn Memoir, is available free at http://www.echapbook.com/memoir/mandell.