Veronica Patterson

Seven Swans

 ~ after Chad Sweeney

There were seven swans, fresh
from a fairy tale, five white
and two black
but three of them were grieving
and four fog
and six hungry and two
Five were meadows—no—
nettles, and
none of them larks.
One was mine. And another
the bruised world.
They foretold nothing
with certainty. And all
the swans, where the swans
swam, were invisible. Nevertheless,
I relied on the glint
and press of their
absence: the swerve
of neck, the trove
of feathers, the wake.


Forthcoming in Spillway



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