Sparrow Prayer

by Sherry Weaver Smith

The answer to a prayer
could be so small—
only the glimpse of a brown bird
searching through old leaves on the ground
and their messages fallen open and apart:
once summer under a pale moon
once spring shading a nest.

But still the bird,
smaller than our folded hands,
has flown through clouds.

And the tree has let all
the mornings of sun it caught fall.

Now the tree answers the wind
with silence.

I cannot reach the bird
or climb the tree,
but in just one shimmering,
I glimpse what it is
to sink to winter quiet
or to touch a storm.