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Wildlife on Fourth Floor

 Sister Olivia Woltering, ASC

After 20-plus years of living in the city 

With its busy streets                                                                                                              

streets and polluted air, 

I had moved once more into the country

With its fresh air and wildlife.

I chose to live on the fourth floor

Accessible by stairs or elevator

When it was running.

The quiet was delightful.

One evening on my way to chapel

I stopped to wash my hands.

On the cool bathroom floor

Lay a black snake, soon to be evicted.

Some months, maybe years later,

On a full moon night, bright with stars,

A bird, soon frightened, entered with 

S. Anne from the fourth-floor porch.

Then there was the afternoon 

When a bat escaped from the attic

And was peacefully hanging from the

Drop ceiling outside my door.

Not too long ago, a critter made its 

Way into the fifth-floor attic. One

Or more partied nightly over our heads 

While we lived in quarantine.

Then came the morning when Justin 

Found a squirrel had chewed its way 

Down to fourth-floor, caught in 

In the hallway outside my door.  

Thank you, God, for a Building and Grounds crew 

That comes to our assistance 

Beyond the call of maintenance.

Amen. And again thank you.


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