Frank X. Gaspar - Poet, Novelist
The Wild Swans(from Late Rapturous)
They went out to look at the wild swans. They walked in silence
through oak and heather, but those names might not be correct.
The woods glowed, though the sun was yellow, and buttered
the leaves and branches with its yellowness. Light everywhere
and then the pond, glistening smooth like the tear over an eye.
They watched there, and the swans, after all, became geese,
bullish and noisy and black on the black pond. All the sadness
of the world is here now, he thought, but that was just his old
malady talking. All the peace of the world is here now, he thought
and let it stand, because the wind for a moment came, and shushed
all through the trees, and not a ripple rose on the pond, flat as iron
and fat in the distance with its magic geese. Then they sat apart
for a while. There was a chill to the air and it was pleasant to feel.
Every now and then the geese, too far away to count or distinguish,
would rise up and roar at the woods and settle again into their darkness.
Who isn’t a well of secrets? Who can reckon himself completely? Let
the heart inhabit the heart. Let the mind inhabit the mind. Let the leaves
shiver all around the ferocious mouths of those wild birds. How deep
they had walked into the quiet, how far away, how alone, even when
the swans turned into geese, even while the yellow sun laved the forest.
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