In Dream Country
Walking the dirt road to the beach,
by Max Reif
I hear a faint sound up ahead.
It grows in volume
as I move toward its source,
recognizing mournful cries.
Rounding the bend,
I see in the distance
on a black background,
right where long ago I surprised
a bull alligator taking a nap
and he roared, just like a lion.
Four swans, buried up to their long, slim necks,
try to free themselves from the mud.
Their heart-piercing cries give voice
to the pain of all suffering beings.
Frozen in my steps,
I watch them struggle.
Who will free the swans,
Oh, who will free the swans?