Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby


Jan LaPerle is from a small town in northern New Hampshire. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband, Clay Matthews; daughter, Winnie; and dog, Morty. Her poems and stories have been published in Pank, Rattle, BlazeVOX, Subtropics, and other places, too. Her e-chapbook of flash fiction, Hush, was published by Sundress Publications, and a poetry collection, It Would Be Quiet, is just out from Prime Mincer Press.


The babies in my dream,
tiny as thumbs, hung
from little metal hooks
at the supermarket.
Simple as jars, they were,
and so was my decision
to take them, cradle them
like a child with the fresh apples
of a low orchard branch.
The babies were so little,
I might have swallowed them.

Now they grow in me,
ready to explode with the secret
force of spider eggs.
The eggs behind my mother’s toilet
that rolled out from underneath
the mother spider like a pocket
pulled from a pair of jeans.
My mother told me how that spider
pushes her little legs out over
her eggs to protect them.
What a good mother,
I said, and she thought
I was speaking of the spider.