The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “Break the Habit” by Tara Betts

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Spider Dream

When she turns toward the wall,
she notices its growth and pulse.

Its gray, white shag swells, thickens
with an industrious crew of spiders.

Her breath is a startled lift
since gasp is not quite right.

At first, she mistakes herself prey
in her own dream. She’s wrong.

These sisters cannot speak, but build
unseen barricades in her waking world.

She realizes the regiments of spiders
never confine but keep others away.

She watches their casting angles
unspool, balances herself, breathes.


This selection comes from the collection Break the Habit, available from Trio House Press. Order your copy here. Our curator for September is Donna Vorreyer.

Tara Betts is the author of Break the Habit (Trio House Press, 2016) and Arc & Hue (Willow Books, 2009).  Tara is also one of the co-editors of The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives About Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century (2Leaf Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in POETRYAmerican Poetry ReviewEssenceNYLON, and numerous anthologies. She teaches at University of Illinois-Chicago.

Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as seven chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish from Redbird Chapbooks. She is the reviews editor for Stirring: A Literary Collection, and she works as a middle school teacher in the Chicago suburbs.

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