THE PAGAN KILLING JAPANESE BEETLES ON THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

You have many flowers–
Our Lady’s Cushion, Our Lady’s Mantle,
Our Lady’s Shelter, Our Lady’s Shoes,
Sweet Mary, Mary’s Shawl,
Our Lady’s Fingers, Mary’s Gold–
but only one beetle.  Not yours,
these beetles turning my beanleaves to lace.
They belong to the devil.
What did you assume
I’d do about them?
I drown them and they stink.
I pinch them;  my fingers are sticky.
They are more in number
than the stars in the sky.
Pray for them, if you will, Mother of God,
now, and through the hours of their deaths.

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