THE VOW OF THE BENEVOLENT VULTURE
While I am justly proud
I'm not one of the crowd
Who scoffs at every creature who excels,
I disavow one role:
The vulture in my soul
With expertise on everything that smells.
It may be in my glands
To take contemptuous stands
At lesser birds I easily surpass,
But I am sick to death
Of that disdainful breath
That scoff at those perceived as second class.
Instead I'd soar above,
An expert on "wide love,"
A vulture with compassion! There's a twist!
I'll vow to lose the skill
Of how to maim and kill:
Become instead a pure philanthropist.
Good God of Earth and stars,
Have pity on my scars
That make me scornful, harsh, and insecure,
May prayers of this poor vulture
Produce a kinder culture
With a preferential option for the poor!
from the forthcoming book Prayers of 100 Animals A to Z, by William Cleary