Oh Great Spirit

In the name of Raven. In the name of Wolf. In the name of Whale. In
the name of Elephant. In the name of Snake.
 
Who have taught us. Who have guided us. Who have sustained us. Who
have healed us.
 
Please heal the animals.
 
In the name of Raven. In the name of Wolf. In the name of Whale. In
the name of Elephant. In the name of Snake.
 
Whom we have slaughtered. Whom we have feared. Whom we have
caged. Whom we have persecuted. Whom we have slandered. Whom
we have cursed. Whom we have tortured.
 
Protect the animals.
 
In the name of Raven. In the name of Wolf. In the name of Whale. In
the name of Elephant. In the name of Snake.
 
Whose habitat we have stolen. Whose territory we have plundered.
Whose feeding grounds we have paved and netted. Whose domain we
have poisoned. Whose food we have eaten. Whose young we have killed.
Whose lives and ways of life we threaten.
 
Restore the animals.
 
In the name of Raven. In the name of Wolf. In the name of Whale. In
the name of Elephant. In the name of Snake.
 
Forgive us. Have mercy. May the animals return. Not as a resurrection
but as living beings. Here. On earth. On this earth that is also theirs.
 
Oh Great Spirit. Heal the animals. Protect the animals. Restore the
animals.
 
Our lives will also be healed. Our souls will be protected. Our
spirits will be restored.
 
Oh Spirit of Raven. Oh Spirit of Wolf. Oh Spirit of Whale. Oh Spirit of
Elephant. Oh Spirit of Snake.
 
Teach us, again, how to live.

Deena Metzger, "Oh Great Spirit" from Ruin and Beauty: New and Selected Poems.  Copyright © 2009 by Deena Metzger.  Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.
More Poems by Deena Metzger