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By LaurenBeard, Leesburg, VA

Speak softly, motherless sparrow;
Daintily shuffle closer.
Tiptoe on your fragile talons
And lend me your patient ear.
But beware:
Your infantile feet might elicit one of nature’s ruses.
Beware the deceivers, my friend.
Be mindful of those who point you on your way,
For they may misguide you.
Beware even the wise, the learned, and the elder;
To you they know nothing.
Do not refrain from leaving your nest as you have just done,
And don’t hesitate to serve as an envoy from one land to the next,
Fashioning conduits of knowledge between niches.
Go discover this land for yourself;
From canopy to base;
Understory to shrub;
from forest to desert;

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