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A BOOKWORM'S BOAST

Ye Gods who publish thick dull books
By intellectuals preferred,
        Rejoice to know that there exists
        Some worms who cherish every word.

Each fussy editor of late
Whose manuscripts we masticate,
        Should know each red mark that he tries
        Tastes just like ketchup on our fries.

So keep it up!  Crank more books out,
We turn them into sauerkraut,
        We each become a master sleuth
        And find how sweet can be the truth.

Besides, we tire of Donne and Keats,
A diet much too big on sweets,
        Don't shred those books! They'll fine you flat,
        Endangering bookworms' habitat!

But if someday you gods all must
Creep unsurely toward the dust,
        Rejoice to know that unaware
        You've served "consumers" everywhere.




from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary

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