Three Poems about
Hank the Spider

1. Hank The Sequel

Hank's leaving
Over crowded he says
Word got out
We're a soft touch
That was it
They were queuing at the door

Enough's enough
I told Hank
He agreed
But said he was leaving anyway
Because he knows how persistent
Some spiders can be
And, he said, he had a bad feeling about all this

We put up a sign
They took no notice
Pretended they couldn't read

You see, said Hank
Look at that one
Clearly an academic
Probably letters after his name
Show him the DDT
Bet he'll bloody well read then

Anyway, Hank's gone now
We said our goodbyes
Then doused the house with DDT
Laid both cats up for a while
Dog's got alopecia
But the spiders have gone

One tried to sneak back
Said he was a friend of Hank's
And that he played the trumpet

Who was he kidding
I know a trumpet player
When I see one.

2. News from Hank

Have received disturbing letter
From Hank
As follows:

Dear all,
Misfortune has struck
Terrible blow.

Fell asleep on container lorry
Now in Hamburg
German spiders not friendly to Brits
I fear racism is rife here.
Have tried to blend in
But not easy to march with eight legs

Met a Frenchy on the Reeperbahn
Helps out in transvestite bar
Only safe place he says
Whores and spiders
They don't care
If you march or scuttle
Sooner or later the degradation has you
Dragging yourself around
On your knees
Tough for a spider

I shouldn't end like this
Have tried to leave
But German lorry drivers are hot on stowaways

I've pointed out, I'm only a spider
They just snort
Spiders, Albanians
All got the same sorry story
Bottom line
The Euro is the Euro to Germans

Please send fare
If not, send cyanide tablet
They'll get me soon
Here, they have no apathy towards foreigners
I fear I'd crack under pressure
Or Jack boots

Love Hank

We've sent the fare of course.

3. Hank's Return

Hank's back
Arrived in the early hours
Crawled up drainpipe
So as not to wake anyone
And fell asleep in the bath

He's a pitiful sight
One leg completely gone
Kids didn't recognise him
Thought he was that would be Charlie Parker
Nearly drowned him

I let him sleep, two days
And asked no questions
But I knew he'd need to talk
Sooner or later

The Germans nearly finished me he said
Such a harsh race
Still punishing themselves behind closed doors
Mass self-flagellation, sauerkraut and wurst diet
If I never smell Liebfraumilch again
It won't be too soon

Spent hours on the docks
Looking for escape route
But they know all the tricks
God knows they've run a few secure units

Anyway, sweet wine and melancholy got me
Met an old hooker one night, Lili
Seen better days
Legs a bit ropey
Eyesight dodgy
But seemed a good enough sort

One thing led to another
We ended up in her rusty beer can
Two sad, lonely spiders
Well you know how these things go
God knows I needed some comfort

Fell asleep about three am
Woke up with terrible stabbing pain
The bitch was trying to eat me
One leg gone quicker that a fly eats shit

It was a battle I can tell you
Only saved by the widget
Sprang back and decapitated her.

I left Hank to sleep
But the next day, I had to ask
Isn't it common practise, this eat your lover bit?

Sure, he said
For love
Many a good spider has gone that way
But Lili was just an old slapper
Hanging around the docks
Looking for a free meal
From desperate foreigners
Where's the love in that?
What dignity in such a death?

Hank has gone back to his hole
Behind the toilet
Said he needed a couple of days to think
That was two weeks ago

What can you do for a traumatised spider?

Nicolette Turner

If you've any comments on this poem, Nicolette Turner would be pleased to hear from you.

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