Thursday, August 7, 2008

on saving ugly things


I kill certain bugs. And I tolerate certain damage from critters. My choices are capricious. The bugs I hate are Japanese beetles. If I have a big hole in my flower garden and I think it might be a groundhog, or a bunny, I smile.

Having the girls here I see their kindness to all creatures. (Although they have come to my side on the Japanese beetle thing.) But even a spider on the back porch - how can we save it?

I read this poem by Thomas Lux. It is called Tarantulas on a Lifebuoy.

They usually drown - but
if you want their favor,
if you believe in justice,
a reward for not loving

the death of the ugly
and even dangerous (the eel, hog snake,
rats) creatures, if

you believe these things, then
you would leave a lifebuoy
or two in your swimming pool at night.

And in the morning
you would haul ashore
the huddled, hairy survivors

and escort them
back to the bush, and know
be assured that at least these saved,
as individuals would not turn up

again someday
in your hat, drawer,
or the tangled underworld
of your socks...

My daughter occasionally has a drowned squirrel in her pool in the morning. She laments, even as she fights them off her bird feeders. Perhaps she should try the lifebuoy idea. I know The Girls would go for that.

And heaven only knows how much I need that lifebuoy, especially on days when I am ugly and I feel like I might drown. Something to climb on that was put there out of love, or at least concern, and someone to haul me to shore and out of my soggy airless mess. And take me out to lunch, or even for a coffee. That would be a good gift.

3 comments:

rachel said...

i'll take you for a stroll in my wheelchair... xoxo

hold fast...

Lloyd & Sharon said...

Aren't we all ugly at times, and in need of a lifebuoy . . . but I draw the line at bugs in my house!

Have a cup of coffee in my name!

Karen said...

Oh, how I've wished for a lifebuoy on ugly days. Often though, I've had the feeling people would hold my head under to put me out of my misery (and theirs) if they thought they could get away with it. I must remember that the prickliest, hairiest people are often most in need of a little kindness.