“Natural Disasters” by Faith Shearin

During natural disasters two enemy animals
will call a truce, so during a hurricane
an owl will share a tree with a mouse
and, during an earthquake, you might find
a mongoose wilted and shivering
beside a snake. The bear will sit down
in a river and ignore the passing salmon
just as the lion will allow the zebra
to walk home without comment.
I love that there are exceptions.
At funerals and weddings, for example,
the aunts who never speak nod
politely to one another. When my mother
was sick even the prickly neighbors
left flowers and cakes at our door.

“Natural Disasters” by Faith Shearin from Telling the Bees. © Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2015.

2 thoughts on ““Natural Disasters” by Faith Shearin

  1. William A. Grimes

    Sadly, I know of funerals that were said to be “by invitation only” because of a long family dispute. That was a first for me. Animals may forgive, the lion and the sheep may share space, but that is not always the case for humans. We might all be better off, if we paid closer attention to the other animals on this green earth. All of that said, the generosity of folks around Houston towards others in desperate need is moving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Much has been said of how everyone has come together in the face of Harvey, and how heroism is color-blind and politically-blind. And to think just days before Harvey, the country was tearing at each others’ throats over relic monuments. I hope we can continue to ride this feeling of love and acceptance, but given our track-record, I fear it will be short-lived.

      Side note: Did you happen to see Captain Fantastic with Viggo Mortensen? Your comment about invitation-only funerals reminded me of it. Worth seeing if you missed it.


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