A Bird in a Gilded Pond

 

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About a swan, in verse.

I jumped the gate
to better see her sanctuary
a lone swan in a broad pond
beneath the old weir
of stone and rusted gears.

On the other side, upstream,
a family of mallard ducks, a moorhen and a gull,
here but she alone
proud queen of the lower reaches.

Did you see the cygnets?
A voice catches me unawares.
I start, expecting a reproach
but he is alone and means no ill.

I answer ‘no I did not’.
There were eight before,
and then two. He pauses,
his thoughts his own.
Perhaps they have fledged?

He shakes his head.
We discuss the possibilities of predation
by fox or heron.
We will never know. He moves on…

I turn back towards the pond
my heart going out to her,
proud and tragic regent.
Does she feel the pain of loss?
I do.

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