Sparrow Dreams

It is not the swan I am thinking of today
with its royal bearing and striking looks
its Ugg boots and salon fresh hair
it is the sparrows that cluster together
outside my window and pick in the snow
pick quickly for small round seeds
that have fallen when the other birds feed.
Brown, brown and dun
brown and dun and beige
they do not try to be noticed
to stand out in a crowd.
What is their passion
they hide from the world?
I have seen them on the street too
ordinary people, with no dreams of stardom
picking away at what they need to do.
I have seen them in the classroom too,
the kid who doesn't wave his hand excitedly
or shout out for all the world to know his insides
or the girl who doesn't wear loud pink and glitter
and says, when asked what she likes,
in a small voice, "I don't know."
I want to applaud her. It is the truest answer.
I don't know still.
Some sparrows might spend long hours
dreaming of becoming a swan
might play in the bird bath preening
and dreaming of gliding on the mighty river,
but the other sparrows?
What do they dream of?
Under their soft brown feathers
streaked a little here, and colored so gently,
brown, brown and dun,
brown and dun and beige—
their feet leave perfect prints in the snow—
what do they dream on?

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