Praise the shit-eaters,
the revelers in rot,
the chewers of soft wood,
the gorgers of old meat.

Laud the scarab, the fruit fly,
the termite, even the maggot,
reusers and recyclers,
free of revulsion.

Value the vulture, the coyote,
the connoisseurs of carrion,
removers of road kill,
ignorant of arrogance.

Bow to the denizens of destruction,
the jaws and guts of our Earth,
rejoice in their magnificent
selfish service.

Posted with kind permission of the author.

This ode was among more than 100 responses to our invitation to write an ode to an “ordinary thing.” We share it here with delight and gratitude.