Spiders

“What are you afraid of?” she asked.
I was silent for a minute,
then looked at her again.

“I am afraid of
growing old before my time,
of waking up one morning
and referring to my youth
instead of living it.

I am afraid of being mediocre,
I am afraid of not living
every day to the fullest.

I am afraid of growing old
without him.
I am afraid that he will stop trembling
under my touch one day.
I am afraid of growing old in my ways,
of burning up before my time.

That is what I am afraid of.”

She did not speak.

“Does this answer your question?”

She smiled, and sipped her coffee.
“A simple ‘spiders’
would have sufficed.”