The night swans
Soon night will come and more, glide past my face with calm beauty like swans on a lake, a faint presence against the darkening shore. With a silent flutter of wings a rush of memories fills the wood: silver moons like birds startled to the sky and far below where once the tree house stood, stand I. But now the pines cast shadows green upon my lungs and in the silence I can hear the slow, rhythmic breathing of night and faint hooves of deer. Soon I’ll merge with the stillness, join the shadows, sink into the dark, rich soil by water's edge. Yes, I think death will come like that, like a soft cry from heaven: six white swans emerging from the dusk on a calm, still lake... and I shall make seven.
originally published in Swans along the Sunlit Path, slightly revised Oct. 2005