Why Poetry Beats Prose

When I first wrote this story as prose, it was 1,000 words. The next day I followed a poetry prompt to write a poem that is one sentence, 14 lines, and about 100 words. Ninety percent shorter is usually better.


When we saw the spider sitting above the doorframe

two of us thought it was harmless

but you knew it had to be harmful because it was a spider

only I knew better because I’ve known lots of spiders

and this one looked kind of like Charlotte,

so I got the broom

knocked it to the floor

then, instead of smashing it,

I coaxed it

down the hall, gently sweeping and whispering,

“this way, baby, c’mon, baby, almost there”

until the spider—dazed—walked out the front door

into the dark dirt and later, when I looked it up,

I found out it was venomous after all.


  1. I loved this! Poor baby venomous spidey.

  2. WHAT?!?!?
    Be still, my heart.

    • Remember how I said it was a common wolf spider? Well, it was actually a rabid wolf spider! (In this case, rabid doesn’t mean rabies, it means venomous.) The black-and-white marking should’ve tipped me off.

  3. All spiders scare me. As does poetry. Which is why I need you in my life. Among other reasons. Keep talking to me you brave, brave soul

  4. Oh dear! Megan!

    (Loved this, by the way. You rock.)

  5. Perfect. Perfect, perfect.

    A friend did a similar thing, except with one of the most poisonous snakes on a beach in India. (He wore it around his neck.)

  6. NO WAY. Was it really? We better not tell Michelle. Thanks for sharing, loved your poem about it. And the fact that I was standing in the hall watching you talk to nicely to all that venom makes it even more special. 🙂

  7. Just read this aloud to the boys – I am screaming all over again…and they are laughing! When I got home from the retreat that was the first story I told them: about you with the broom, coaxing the spider, “come on, come on baby” out the door in your nightgown. They loved it!

  8. I’m smiling. Big.

  9. denadyer70 says

    I had the instinct to kill it, but since I’m more the “Scorpion Slayer,” I left it up to you. Should have taken over, I guess. LOL

    This makes me smile and sigh, remembering the fun we all had. 🙂

  10. Yikes, did this happen last weekend? YOU could make this delicious poem. Most of us could not. LOVE it.

  11. Ugh. On a visit to Lexington once, Jeff and I saw the biggest black widow spider just marching through the parking lot of the Liquor Barn. Creeped me out! But I love imagining you with your broom 🙂 This would make a perfect Halloween poem.

  12. And that pretty much sums it up! Yes, poetry absolutely has its charms, and you do it so very well.

  13. Good one, Megan!

  14. “this way, baby, c’mon, baby, almost there”

    Every time I come here I have a new reason to love you. 🙂

  15. You have a point about brevity. That’s all

  16. Whoa. And Yikes. Did I say Yikes? Yikes. and maybe even Whoa.

  17. “looked like Charlotte” =) You are just too, too cute and oh so creative. Wish I could have been with y’all last weekend…but this poetry of yours gives me a glimpse. Thanks for the comment after my long-winded comment at Shelly’s. I’d love to hear your thoughts, as well.

  18. That’s one lucky spider.