Prayer of the Chukar

God, my grand-feathered ones
came from Turkey,
but home nests soon were native
in Idaho, some in Hawai’i.

I was born in a box of chicks
sent to a gun range in New England,
and I ran away (that’s what we do, run,
for we cannot fly very fast.)
We are easy for new shooters.

I am grateful for my home here,
under the twitter-feed,
where kind sparrows scatter seed,
and the squirrels share.

I am grateful coyote in the woods
and the house beagle ignore me,
the sun shines and rain falls
on my wings.

So I pray for all creatures
and humans who are used as targets,
the ones who are different
in some way from others,
the ones who are hunted for fun,
the ones who are lonely
because others who are like them
live far, far away.

Squirrels are too busy to talk,
but sparrows say, you promise to know
when any one of us falls.
Amen.

(The photo of the chukar in my yard was taken by Matthew Tirabassi. The poem style comes from “Prayers from the Ark” and “The Creatures Choir” by French poet and nun Carmen Bernos De Gasztold, 1947)

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Maren C. Tirabassi with Maria Mankin have just edited the  chapbook, “Pitching our Tents: Poetry of Hospitality,” in support of the Peace Cathedral in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia and she blogs at gifts in open hands at wordpress dot com.  

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