by Jeffrey Essmann
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds, but when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.”
The birds are waiting, feathers ruffled plump They chirpless bide their time beneath the sun. Though some who think the warming day’s begun Spread wings and from the ragged fence they jump; Not really soar, but circle circumspect The greening air so cool upon the wing And keep an eye on earth for anything They might their homing instinct there direct. Somehow, I think they know I have a seed Within me, deep and secret, tiny still: A mustard germ of faith that patiently Is pushing, growing like a holy weed. Its branches twine beyond my human will. The birds are simply waiting for the tree.
Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic, Grand Little Things and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room page on the Integrated Catholic Life website.