November 2, 2023

Near the Stones of Stenness

White swans on the pond
arch and preen
as rocks witness their vanity

When Leda saw the god on the river
she said, gravity is the weight
of beauty that binds us to the earth
and reached toward her destiny

came away with a handful of down
from a flocked breast

I don’t know where he’s gone
my mother said, referring to
the chatham bellbird
or dusky seaside sparrow
or socorro dove        

Each day of her dying
she dissolved
until a soft pile of feather and bones
was left wearing her clothes

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A Journal of International Poetry
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