THE CURSE OF A BLASPHEMOUS BAT
I curse ye gods that walk the earth -
Called “womenfolk” and “men” -
Who hate us bats before we
have a chance
To demonstrate how beautiful and splendid bats can be,
But put down our whole nation
I don’t critique your godlike “kids,” they usually respect us
And love Bat-man, Bat-woman
But as a rule you elders all abhor us and reject us,
Not caring how we feel to
We’re mammals, folks! We nurse our babies just as humans do,
So with your body-type we
You hate our looks? But what of yours? You lumber up and down,
Pale, sluggish monsters who
can’t even fly!
Nine hundred kinds of bats are we, with technicolor coats
Of black or red or yellow,
gray or brown.
All night we ramble, guided by the echoes of our songs,
At dawn sleep soundly, hanging
We’re sunset lovers, quick as thought,
With sheer skin-covered wings,
Our strong webbed fingers
sculpturing our flight,
Our best have five-foot wingspans, live for twenty-five long years,
Huge darts of darkness whizzing
through the night!
So, all ye gods in human form, I’ve lost respect for thee,
And to your pride I dedicate this heartfelt blasphemy.
from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary