The Pest

If in the vaulted ceiling cold cathedral air
Warming itself in sunlight, there is one fly
And I am kneeling, I alone in supplication
Am l lifting prayer to a higher power, that fly

Will surely light on my ear!

By heaven I know well the silver winged pest
Red eyes refracting light
Is God’s own creation, but must it love my ear
As I turn to the ever still voice– Buzz, Buzz

Is all I hear.

Is the scent of me so alluring, so irresistible?
Is it my hair, my breath
My old smokey coat that draws it like a carcass
A can of fresh garbage?

Even in winter, living on next to nothing
It sustains itself
On God knows what, beeswax, holy water
The Madonna’s roses

Until it is nearly nothing again–
Surely the lowly are blessed, blessed the small things
The ant, the cockroach, the gnat will inherit the earth
Being what they are without effort

This fly, a little saint, teaching me near well enough
The patience to deep meditation.
Forgive us our insecticide, our rolled paper to swat
Forgive this quick hand

Catching you in quick flight, out of the once hallowed air
Forgive little friend, and farewell…