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THE WORRIED WORM'S CONVERSION

Behold me, God of endless peace and calm,
I fret, catastrophize, worry and fear,
Expect disaster, wince at threatening clouds,
Squirm this way, that way, feeling doom is near.

The earth feels cold, my churning stomach aches:
I'll never do the charities I should!
It's late and I've got almost nothing done!
Dear God, you'd think by now I'd understood.

What?  Well, that we are worthless, useless worms
Until we till this earth from shore to shore,
That's what an earthworm's job it is to do,
What else on earth did you create us for?

To laugh?  You're kidding, God?  You speak in jest!
To love?  Enjoy?  Thrive?  You are making fun!
We live to labor, don't we, Holy One?
No?  Then I'm just a hopeless simpleton!

I'll start from scratch:  I'll turn and love myself
Before I crawl or wiggle or turn earth,
Perhaps a worm is miracle enough,
Without the need to prove a sacred worth.

How great!  The world's weight is off my back!
I'll learn to love, my native grace affirm,
Become more catholic in my taste for life,
And laugh at silly worries of a worm.




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

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