Swan Spell

cygne atterrisage 01
  

Her knuckle rap broke a spell
on ice glaze in a pail at the cabin door.
Then as if it were the signal for descent 
a sixteen wedge of swans…
…brazen as Valkyries…
arrived from the north to claim residence
at that March pond wilderness.
 
Their five cubit wingspans
rasped currents in clear air…
though brassy throated honking
flawed white-shimmered elegance.
 
They…she and the swans…
existed easy at awareness edges
in that swan days progression
as she became a watcher…
 
watched their preening with unguents 
  drawn deep from dazzling feathers
watched their courting bustle on woody muskrat berms…
watched the intertwining of their mating thrash…
watched nests like floating barges 
 gently rocking eggs that broke to downy cygnets
watched promenades of pen…cygnets…cob…
 as they paused to dabble pondweed…
    wild celery…bluestem…brome.
 
Then one November morning pail water glazed,
and she watched…entranced…as swans ascended
lifting heavy bodies…earth free…magnificent.
 
Bonnie Marshall

9 thoughts on “Swan Spell

  1. I reallly enjoyed this. I love swans and have spent much time sitting by a lake near my house where they gather. This line was gorgeous: watched nests like floating barges
    gently rocking eggs that broke to downy cygnets

  2. Holy fuck — sorry for the English. Not sorry for this poem: strong as Whitman, much more focussed and powerful. Oh, yes. And of course, the actual experience towers over the poem itself, which is the art bowing within itself. Sweet Jaysus, Bonnie: my goodness me!

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