Friday, September 14, 2007

Mark Statman, "Swan Song"

the boat ports at the dock
the plane the runway
the swan the water
everyone has some
question of travel
connected with certainty
and uncertainty
with arrival, departure
the green mediation
of the imagination
the green mediation
of a path
defined by bridge and wire
I’m in love
with the black swan
and the white swan
I’m in love with the boat and
I’m afraid of the plane
the smell of the water
the boat’s horn
the flight attendant’s sudden
closing of the cabin door
I know how to swim
and can easily forget in passing
the iciness of the water
I can’t fly
and I know how
the deceptive solid clouds
wouldn’t hold me
not even for a second
right now
I’m in love with the swan
with the swan song
though this means the end of something
at the beginning I only think
of what’s ahead
in the middle
of when it’s over
at the end
the swan touches the water
it makes hardly any ripple
in the late summer afternoon
no song, no ripple
smell of honeysuckle and lilac
the swan swims away
when the black one meets the white
then two
no song yet, no ripple still
the green mediated path
of imagination, bridge and wire
from it
you’ll hear them
swan song
you’ll hear
come on, come on