“So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

for Sophia, on her confirmation

Sold often by the handful (pocket change
could purchase just enough for peasant’s lunch)
these denizens of dusty roadside range
were no one’s haute cuisine. Assorted bunch
of species inconspicuous and small—
White-throated, Swamp, Clay-colored, Field, Song, Sage—
in color drab as simple in their call,
this trope of commonplace in every age
is yet, each one, with thought precisely planned,
each painted feather, perfect in its place,
a flawless masterwork. A Master Hand
has formed each one, bestowed them all with grace.
Then you, moreso redeemed by blood, rejoice,
and ne’er deny your worth, nor mute your voice.

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