Pontoporia blainvillei


Named for the gray
clad friars who prayed
for the well being
of animals and who
as Christians ravaged
the Charrúa people with bible
pages and syphilis,
this five-foot estuary
cetacean swims southeastern
rivers and brackish waters
of South America. In Argentina
a crowd pulls a calf
from the surf each clicks selfie
after selfie to tweet, passing
the thing from hand
to hand until
its greasy skin dries and
it perishes gasping
from dehydration
smiling all the way
into demise.


Heavenly father,
They have trust in us
as we have in You; though
they owe us nothing.
Grant our prayer
through intercession of good
St. Francis of Assisi,
teach us to be deserving
of such trust.