I was at the beach for work today – well, not quite.

I was on a trail that led to the beach, so close to freedom.
I could taste the salty air, feel the soothing breeze,
see the wedge of glimmering sand in the distance and
the silver sliver of ocean just beyond that, where it greets the sky.

Eyes closed, I took in one slow, deep breath of satisfaction
before releasing myself back to the task at hand.
I went into the trees, where sunbathers seldom enter,
searching for an ideal spot to trap Culicoides.

A frantic buzzing stopped me in my tracks.
I searched until my gaze fell upon a spider web, 8 feet off the ground.
A golden-striped predator sat perfectly still at the center
waiting and watching as a cicada the size of my thumb struggled,
tearing, ensnaring itself in the threads.
I could do nothing but stare.

A while later, on my way out of the woods, I looked again:
the cicada was no longer there.
The spider moved down to inspect, waving her spindly limbs
and fretting over the damaged web, disappointed.
I sighed with relief.


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