‘The Spider Mom’ by Sionnain Buckley

— Reneé Bibby

Winter rolls over into spring and the spiders are out to bestow their powers. In Sionnain Buckley’s modern fairytale, partners Comma and Millicent seek out the reproductive prowess of the spider. It’s the anti-Spider-Man, in the sense that the story doesn’t build towards action, masculinity and the paradoxical presence of much violence but no blood. This is a spider fairytale saturated in blood, contemplation, sensuality, and the feminine. The two protagonists create the opportunity for the spider to appear; they build a space and openness to knowledge and power with the blood of their own bodies. Do they manage to get pregnant? Who knows. It’s not advisable to worry too much about plot, or to try and extract a traditional fairytale moral from the story, except perhaps that the journey to motherhood is wrought with sacrifice, longing, love, and special unmeasured magic that can’t be captured or explained.

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