amos on perseverance

by amos

Editor’s note: In response to a reader’s request, Amos asked we reprint a favorite column. Amos is a churchmouse, unable to use the keyboard shift keys and unschooled in the art of punctuation.

boss i think i might have
mentioned this before
but life ain t easy
under a church pew

the heathen alley cats have
declared war on me they
climb up on the window ledge
outside the church and sneer
at me through the stained glass
windows it s unnerving boss
and sometimes makes
my little tail quiver

and not only that but the
church custodian is out to
get me i know he is boss i
keep dodging his mop but
one of these days he s gonna
get me and i ll be the first
real live waxed mouse
you ve ever seen

oh and then a few days ago
some kids spilled some
koolaid all over the
volleyball net and stuck it in
a crumpled pile right behind the
storeroom door so that when i
dived under the door to get
away from marcellus the cat
i found myself tangled up
in the clutches of a koolaid
flavored mass of stringy net
so twisted and contorted
was i that my tail was
dangling in front of my
whiskers life can get so
sticky sometimes boss

while i was dangling
there boss looking more
like a pretzel than a
mouse and needing
a sermon but not
really in the mood
to hear one the lord
brought to my mind
the story of milford
the millipede who set
sail across the sea
in a large cork

he hollowed out a
little place to sit
while he sailed and
he d drink juice and
eat salt pork
he strapped himself
in with a large
padded staple

nothing bothered him
not high winds
nor low ripples

he christened his cork
the unsinkable shepherd
when others scoffed it ll sink
he replied absurd

he faced adversity with a
persistent smile
laughed his way
through storms winds and
boredom mile by mile

but his greatest challenge
appeared to be ahead
when an ill-tempered whale
said i ll smash you dead

so the whale flicked his tail
in anger lashed it down and
splashed water all round

but in spite of those blows
milford s cork quickly rose
and floated serenely before
the whale s big nose

said milford to the whale
you can slap and sputter
and frown but you will
never never keep me down

for i m resting on the stuff
that s buoyant enough to
float instead of to drown

sometimes boss
perseverance simply
means remembering who
we re resting on