A new canticle

God, bless the ‘possum,opossum_2
who wandered into my garden
with the neighbor’s rat trap on her paw.

She looks tired – it isn’t her time of day,
and I think she is hurting.

The animal control people scoop her up,
and I hope they mean it
when they say they’ll let her go
if her broken paw heals.

Send me a Francis to sing in my garden.

Sister Opossum, Brother Lemontree,
and, always huddled somewhere
in the corner where I don’t let my child play,
Uncle California Drought –

Praise God for each rescue
that reminds us we are family,
for we, who have discovered cars,
refrigerators, fracking,
and mountain top coal removal,
we who cut trees like there is
no tomorrow –opossum_270x224
are making traps for one another.

And then we do not want to be there
to see the painful limping away,
the weary red eyes,
the fear, the loss of all the babies
who may be carried
in the world’s pouch.

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6 Responses to A new canticle

  1. I love the photos and the sentiment!

  2. Tears in my eyes as I read this – and oppossums are not beautiful animals, usually, but you have found beautiful pictures of them, showing that they are not the rats people take them for, but part of our holiness. Thanks for sharing this story, and the prayer in it.

  3. Maren says:

    It’s Maria’s story (her yard, her wait for animal control and my poeming, Nancy.

  4. francis too says:

    unsetting the traps…yes.

  5. Rev. R. Matthew Stevens says:

    I totally agree with the sentiment you express in this canticle, and I must confess I find opossums fascinating to observe. It is truly sad how much of our inventiveness is diverted into “making traps for one another”, particularly the cleaver legislative traps we fashion for the politically unwary,

  6. Cheryl Hoffman says:

    Thank you, as always for these wonderful poems, Maren.


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