Monday, February 22, 2010

sense of guilt


I have seen the squirrels fill their guts
in birdbrained ways which seem to be most queer,
for though, like me, they’re very fond of nuts,
they don’t add salt, or wash them down with beer.

They visit us on Sukkot, un-
invited to the booth that we have built;
I’m happy that they’re having fun,
and envy them their lack of sense of guilt.

The Vorlage of this poem was written on 8/26/00, and generated a poem by Linda which I paste below. Linda and I love to watch the squirrels in the back yard, except during Sukkot, when they eat the decorative fruit and vegetables. Linda’s anti-squirrel poem was apparently written before mine!


When God said:
There’s a tree whose fruit you may not eat,
The lion said,
No problem I shall just eat meat;
And God agreed:
Consider it my special treat.

The rabbit said
I’ll stick to grass
The robin sang
I’ll peck at seeds
The butterfly:
I think I’ll pass
The tortoise huffed
I’ll chomp at weeds;
The whale:
Crowds of brill are great,
The dinosaur…
Who knows his fate?
And body lice
Could pick and choose,
Then last, we Jews!
We read the list of don’ts and does
And offers we could not refuse
Like veggies, clean of course, and nuts
And berries, fruit and the best cuts
Of cows and sheep and… let’s not dwell
On flesh or fish or living creatures
Who share with us most genes and features.

But damn! the squirrel with his tail,
His cloven paws, his pointy ears,
Pretending to be cute, sets sail
Across the aeons to our years
Where in our garden grows a tree
Of peaches, succulent, sweet tears,
Bending each branch abundantly –
And like the worst of thieves, comes out
In brightest mornings, just to flout
Defiant joy and quickly steals
The fruit of God.
But no appeals!
For no one traps the devil, he
Comes visiting at will.
The tree
Grows understanding at its best.
The squirrel robs us in our nest
And when God says: Now taste the peach!
There’s nothing left to taste
Or teach.



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