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By Stephen Lewis, Published in Dunes Review, Vol.7, Issue 2, December, 2002

The swan,

holding its head aloof

from its absurd body

to distance its aristocratic aspirations

from the reality of its waddle,

slipped into the water

like an obese roué

finding his ease

on a plush carriage seat,

or a courtesan of ample gifts

supine on plumped pillows.


it projected grace sufficient

to pull down the stars

and calm the insistent tide.


clearing my eyes of salt water glaze,

focused on this apparition,

misplaced among the gulls

circling the afternoon sky,

and the swimmer making

for a distant buoy,

or the toddler at shore's edge

holding back the surf.

Uncertain of right of way,

and unused to yield

for mere persons,

I yet conceded a degree or two

from the line I had sighted

toward shore,

and stepped aside.

The swan

uncoiled its neck

with deliberate purpose

but no unseemly haste

and held its course

toward a reef

beyond which

it disappeared

without so much

as a backward glance,

as though

I were not worthy

of its notice.


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