FB (1944 / Columbia, Missouri)

If I Were a Swan

I would ride highabove my own white
weight. I would ride
through the lightening
of the earth
and the darkening,
stillness and turbulence
coming on in the core
of me, and spreading
to the hard rain,
to the dazzle. Leaves
would turn, but I
would keep my eyes
in my head, watching
for grasses. This
is what I would know
deeply: the feathering
of my bones
against the bank.
For the rest,
I would be the easiest
wave, loving just enough
for nature's sake.
The world would move
under me and I would always be exactly
where I am, dragonflies
angling around my head.
Under the black mask
of my face, I would think
swan, swan,
which would be nothing
but a riding, a hunger,
a ruffle more pointed
than wind and waves,
and a hot-orange
beak like an arrow.

by Fleda Brown

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