Today's poem is by Philip Memmer

You Are Worth Many Sparrows

At least there's this—
I saw the blown-down sparrow's nest

before I could mow it under.
And though the two surviving birds

would certainly die—barn cats
or owls, if not the cold—

at least I could carry them
one by terrified one

to the bushes edging the yard.
Then I returned where their sibling lay

stiff in the maggoty weave,
and flinging it deep in the meadow

thought of what Matthew said Jesus said
about sparrows. . . sold for a farthing,

and one of them shall not fall
without your Father
. Hope

was the lesson—a person's
worth many sparrows—

but even with our Father
sparrows fall, many of them,

and depending on what you fear
He wills it, or fails

to stop it, or fails
to exist. Old arguments,

each one. There are others.
I'm sure. Whichever is true,

I like to think of the chicks
in my cupped palm—so small

even Jesus believed
they were meaningless—

and how they clawed at my fingers,
beating their half-finished wings.

We matter that much. We matter
that much, at the least.

Copyright © 2004 Philip Memmer All rights reserved
from Tar River Poetry

Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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