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God's Chipmunk
Marsha Foss


Dead on the patio after a storm.
Good, I think to myself,
another bit of vermin who won't be
squirreling its nasty way into my attic.

Abram, almost four, spots the poor creature
dismayed that I am carrying a shovel
and heading toward the trash can.
"Mormor," he gasps, "you can't just throw him away."
I stop. I guess I really can't.  Not now.

So we gather our gloves and our spades,
dig a proper grave beside the flowers,
and say a few kind words.
"God loves you, little chipmunk," Abram intones.
Walking up from the garden, he shouts out to neighbor Elisabeth,
"We had to bury him.  He was struck by lightning!"

Well, maybe he was,
or maybe he fell from the wall in the wind last night
or maybe one of Elisabeth's many cats killed him.
Whatever the reason,
we know that the God of Abram loves
even you, little chipmunk.


© by Marsha Foss.
Used with the author’s permission.



After 37 years in Maryland, Marsha Foss returned to her home state of Minnesota when grandchildren began to arrive. She now lives in St. Paul and enjoys being connected to that area's vibrant writing community. A retired educator, Marsha spends many happy hours each week volunteering in the neighborhood school where her grandsons  attend. 



Post New Comment:
Posted 01/25/2017 10:54 PM
Jean Doolittle:
Marsha, I recognize your sly humor and your mischievous take on life--the casual observer may be misled by your quiet demeanor, but only at their peril, still your love for your grandchildren is evident. I thought of Carmen Bernos De Gasztold's poems, Prayers from the Ark, translated by Rumor Godden as I read this. Jean D
Posted 12/09/2016 05:08 PM
Love this one -- reminds me of how mom and dad would help us bury the parakeets, turtles, and yes, even a mouse I kept in a shoebox. All God's creatures deserve such a fitting service, and every small child knows this. Marilyn
Posted 12/07/2016 04:10 PM
Really liked your poem, Marsha. Like Transitions said, "From the mouths of babes...' Thank you.
Posted 12/06/2016 08:11 PM
'From the mouths of babes...' Loved the poem.
Posted 12/06/2016 01:41 PM
I love it! My sister-in-law had a similar experience with her son years ago--but it was a bird! Janice
Posted 12/06/2016 01:26 PM
Marsha, Delightful, heartfelt poem. Thank you! Michael
Posted 12/06/2016 11:47 AM
Wonderful! This scenario also describes the demise of goldfish in tiny bowls won at a fair.
Posted 12/06/2016 10:56 AM
Lovely, thanks.
Posted 12/06/2016 10:28 AM
Redemption by the unexpected. Kids and animals sometimes make life sooo much better. Thanks for a great story, artfully told.
Posted 12/06/2016 10:08 AM
Larry Schug:
Sentimental without being "mushy". Very thoughtful. Excellent interaction between an older person and a four year old teacher!
Posted 12/06/2016 08:08 AM
Glen Sorestad:
Sheer delight -- and much pause for thought! A great start to the day. Thanks, Marsha.
Posted 12/06/2016 07:29 AM
Posted 12/06/2016 06:39 AM
This is a first! The urge to HUG a poem. Pure delight. Many thanks, Martha.
Posted 12/06/2016 06:31 AM
Jean :D:
"out of the mouths of babes" I love this, children sure know how to teach us grown-ups! Great poem Marsha.
Posted 12/06/2016 06:22 AM
Grandchildren do show you a thing or two! A lovely poem. ,
Posted 12/06/2016 03:57 AM
nice from another mormor
Posted 12/06/2016 02:48 AM

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