Strange how the swans did not return
to the lake that June,
almost as if they knew something
the rest of us did not -
some savage instinct or glorious flaw
christened and drowning in the water.
Their nests had been plucked clean, deflowered -
the eggs all gone,
the water choked thick and spiteful
The dock stood as always - knee deep in reeds
and apathy, the bald wood
showing its age and wobbling.
The tide brought its witness -
the wide, yellow maw of pollen
forbidding the surface to move.
You stood on the shore and poked
the sand with a stick as if expecting
it to to get up and walk away and surprised
when it did not make a sound.
I wondered what you were thinking
while you stared out over the water,
holding your breath like a bucket of stones.
Your lips never moved but I could hear
you talking -
blithe and unseen sounds nestling
in the crater of late afternoon.
And the kites kept their distance
all summer, never noticing the mercury
bursting from the thermometers or how
the wind kept changing its direction,
just biding their own time as the months
wore out their brief welcome.