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Mothers in Anguish

Mothers in Anguish

Squawking, squawking… loud ‘satisfy-me-now’ squawking,
‘listen-to-me’ squawking…‘hear-me-now’ imperious squawking.
Deafening to my ears, but arresting my attention
I ran to the bird feeder in my backyard and winced.
Mother bird (a noisy minor, I was later informed)
with all the speed and devotion of a loyal, loving mother
was busily, desperately, scratching the empty bird feeder
I had not filled for days.
Pain wrenched through me witnessing her scrape the bottom
and whatever she managed to scrape away she reached down
and transferred to junior’s wide open mouth –  mouth to mouth feeding
his little body quivering in outrage at the meagreness of the contribution!
This did little to relieve the squawking and, so deeply
did the piteous sight of mother’s desperate efforts wrench my heart
that I immediately took the bag of nuts and hastened to replenish the feeder –
only to have the birds exit by my presence…
hopefully to arrive later when I  was absent.
And satisfaction for both mother and junior could be enjoyed.

This experience brought me up short, wondering about
a parallel situation in the Philippines –
one repeated on the human level in many parts of the country.
Was this what it was like?  To have
human mothers vainly trying to satisfy their offspring
but finding scant food and water in their feverish exertions?
We pray each day “Lord give us this day our daily bread”
and at this time we add  “may food and fresh water be brought
to the Filipinos to satisfy them in time. Amen “

                                                                                Mary Caldwell rsm