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MURMUR OF A MOURNFUL FLEA

Dear God, forgive the human race
For treating fleas like a disgrace,
Forgetting all the verve and flair
That make us fleas superb and rare.
Were pulex irritans, they bitch,
Which means a louse that makes you itch.
Such talk is insulting as can be.
No! Wondrous miracles are we!
Yes, we are small, with tiny feet,
And little mouths youd call petite,
And often bite off (sad but true)
A bit more than a flea can chew,
        Too small to breathe much oxygen:
        But not too small to say Amen!
(Our voice is somewhat hard to hear,
So we just whisper in Gods ear.)
God, you dont find us bothersome,
Annoying, irritating, dumb,
Those ugly, irksome, pesky pests
That pulex irritans suggests.
        Were godlike insects born to jump,
        With sturdy hind legs, tough and plump,
With feathered forewings, made for prayer
Or streaking through the midnight air.
So bless us, Holy Mystery,
With more respect and courtesy
From mean, nitpicking humankind.
How boringly are they designed!
        All one! While God has made us fleas
        A thousand-plus varieties.
So we give praise, Love Unsurpassed,
Great Hairy God, our Home at last.




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

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