There is this lizard
who lives under the bush next to my front porch
and who loves to sun himself on my front step
exactly where I need to put my foot
in order to climb the stairs into my house
I’m an animal lover,
but this thing freaks me out.
I have learned he is a broad-headed skink.
Frankly, he looks like a shiny dog poop,
which would be bad enough on my steps,
but then he darts,
which dog doo doesn’t do,
and he startles the tar out of me.
This is relevant
from a poet who writes about all things spiritual
because of a conversation from the other day
where I listened to an acquaintance expound on
how displeased God is with cussing.
If that is so, I am in quite a pickle,
because when my little reptilian friend
dashes across my path,
I cuss before I even think to do so.
It’s just out there.
God’s little critter brings out the expletive in me,
and unless I start entering my house with gritted teeth,
it will again.
Summertime has barely begun.
God made this lizard.
God made me.
God knows how much I hate things that dart around near my feet.
God has observed me before,
jumping and shrieking in my garage
to escape an inquisitive mouse.
I’m not sure I am in agreement with the person
who spoke so confidently about the sinfulness of cussing.
I know God cares about every detail of our lives,
and maybe it is dependent on time, place, and intent,
but overall, I tend to think God has bigger fish to fry.
Anyway, here at my house
I will seek to live in peace with a small, slimy, quick-footed animal,
and I shall not kill,
even though I really wish he weren’t around.
I will do what I can
not to teach the neighborhood kids new words,
and I will try to be thankful
for the many and varied manifestations of God’s imagination
wherever I may encounter them.
2 thoughts on “Surprise Lizard”
Hi Lindy, I live in the land of lizards: Florida! specifically: Tampa. We don’t have many skinks in Tampa, but we did in Jacksonville where I grew up. At any rate, I know exactly what you are describing, and I appreciate your poem’s invitation to us to see this and other experiences through the eyes of faith and the heart of prayer. Thank you.
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I’m glad the poem was meaningful to you! I am not seeing any lizards in the last week or so — maybe they are more on the move in spring weather as opposed to our current summer temperatures!