george fillingham

Rookie - 60 Points (Lansing, Michigan)

The Ground Hog - Poem by george fillingham

“..., though small
As measured against the All, ....”
Robert Frost

Before you came to rest here by the road
You ran across a snowy field. The snow
Was deep and one with longer strides out strode
And overtook you, turned you belly up,
Admired your textured fir, your digging feet.
He wrote about you in his own conceit,
A dated journal entry, summing up
His otherworldly experience
With you, allowing everyone to know
That you, alive, had made a difference.

It took three years for Richard to pass by,
To find you dead, exposed to elements
Of weather and predation’s golden fields,
To recognize in your decay, his own.

Beyond his own prepared futility,
Past Saint Theresa and her wild laments,
The nutrients that your decaying yields
Were not intended for poor Rich alone.

I love to watch you hunkered in the grass
Reminding me of some Franciscan monk
Collecting herbs and flowers for medicines,
And I regret the thoughtlessness of some
When you are struck and left upon the road.

Most other drivers, careless as they pass,
Are unaware of how their world has shrunk
By one. But I can feel my worldly sins;
I know how short a life can be, how numb
One feels when love, meant for the world, goes unbestowed.

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Comments about The Ground Hog by george fillingham

  • (4/22/2012 5:36:00 AM)

    I like the cadenced lines and subtle rhyme scheme, but esp. I find compelling the compassion for the animal, bringing into focus our nonchalant brutality and the understated philosophy that shows a reverence for all life, even a ground hog that has been reduced to road kill. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

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