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AN EEL'S APPEAL

Hearing prayers today?
I have a few to say:
        It's me, a snaky eel here in the mud,
Don't look away, dear Lord,
As if you're feeling bored.
        I'm an embarrassment? A flop?  A dud?

I'm 'sposed to be a fish!
Not weird and outlandish,
        A snake-like wriggling monster six feet long!
All slime from toe to head
With jolts that shock you dead
        Should you quite accidentally touch me wrong.

My prayer and my appeal
Is, please, just make me real,
        The kind of fish I can be proud to be,
A pike, or cod, or flounder,
Perhaps a dozen-pounder
        Who roams the deepest mysteries of the sea.

What nonsense is an eel!
A creepy crawly deal!
        Like nothing else that slithers on the earth!
O Nature's Artisan,
Please redesign my plan,
        And I will praise your name for all I'm worth.
        
But if I'm out of line
And irk you when I whine,
        I take it back, and humbly change my creed,
We eels have one thing nice:
No prig gives us advice,
        Or tries to change the shocking life we lead.




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

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