Passer Domesticus by Richard Meyer

Passer Domesticus

the common house sparrow, also known as the English sparrow

They dress in frowzy jackets,
they twitter strident tongues—
unduly coarse in most respects,
mere balls of lint with wings.

They do not mind a gutter,
a chimney pot or eave;
they loiter through inclement weather
without the sense to leave.

They roister in the roads,
they litter every lawn;
their shanties ruin neighborhoods,
they inundate the town.

They squabble over crumbs,
they lack civility—
to feed and fight and fornicate
their sole philosophy.

Promiscuous and rude,
they wrangle, loaf, and beg—
this rabble of the English brood,
plebeians from the egg.

by Richard Meyer, first published in THINK

Editor’s Note: I really really really wish I had a photo of a house sparrow. Alas.


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