By Victor Howes
“To me it seems unethical,”
The sparrow said, “the way you shift
With every wind. No breeze too small.
No gust too sudden, thunder-squall
Too brief. One puff, you change your drift.”
“Away,” the weathervane began,
“You sparrows have no valid cause
To twit our kind. We furnish man
With true directions: sky we scan
For news, obeying latest laws.”
“Evasive answer,” chirped the bird.
“You circle round about the point:
The wind can speak no truth. I’ve heard
Wind’s loud opinions. They’re absurd,
Inconsequent and out of joint.”
“Sparrow,” the weathervane declared,
“I specialize in fact alone.
I can encompass what is aired
In every quarter, never scared
To face the storm. My truth is known
Whichever way the wind is blown.”
A wind arose. The sparrow flew.
The windvane signaled what it knew.
From Thoughts after Spenser by Victor Howes. Cambridge: Harvard Book Store, 2016. Copyright © Victor Howes.