Ode To The Skunk

Thou foul beast! O skunk, where art thou at?
Black and white malodorous polecat!
Do not— oh please—take me by surprise
when by dark I seek with cautious eyes
to know where thou lurketh in the night,
thine cloud lingering as doth a blight,
for if I do not heed the wise nose
then heed how futile the water hose!
Not even saints may abide that smell
that be worse than the sulphur of Hell
as it clingeth like sin to the skin
although we scrub again and again.
What devilry beneath that proud tail!
And what a fallout! What a trail
that follows it like a stain on air
warning us all—beware, fool, beware!
Nor can we trust fruit of the nightshade
to cleanse one’s soul of the fetor made;
‘twould be best simply to eat the leaf
and thus pass beyond such earthly grief.
Oft feared more greatly than grizzly’s growls
and worse, by far, than the wolf pack’s howls
and yet how adorable that beast
with its brown eyes, soft fur— cute at least
in eyes that look past its rank odor,
for in the eye of the beholder
beauty be found, and the will to love
what is shunned both below and above…
O god! Where is it? Where’d it go?
Ach! It has sprayed me! Oh no! Oh no!!!

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