THE MONKEY'S FOLLY
O God, most tolerant of foolishness,
I scratch my head: am I a favorite son?
Although my face looks ancient as the hills
And I devour bananas by the ton?
I can't be serious -- you have not made me so.
You'll have to love me as I am: a clown,
Swinging along and screeching like a fool,
And sometimes praying hanging upside-down.
Am I your favorite? Look, I'll make a face,
Hang by my tail, yawn like a crocodile,
Seek out your fleas, dear God, if you have some --
It is enough if I but make you smile.
Deep in my heart there is one serious place
Where I retreat for hurricanes at night,
Clinging to you with all my clownish strength,
Hoping the One I cling to's holding tight.
from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary