AN ANEMONE'S NON-ENMITY
Dear God, is there not something wrong
About us creatures who live long
All supercharged with youthful flame
Beyond the limits of our frame?
We undersea anemones
With virtually no enemies
Survive down on the ocean floor
For 1500 years or more!
Each one of us a bud-like sprout,
Just tiny polyps hanging out
Together, standing safe and tall
Caught by the wonder of it all.
But is it right? While fish swim by
And come and go and live and die,
Anemones live on and on,
With dearest friends long dead and gone.
So give us all the life you might,
But make us humble in our plight,
When once a year our friends' hearts break
To count the candles on our cake.
from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary