The Humming of Swans

2swans29 January 2017

I turned the corner,
and walked into an explosion
of sunlight coming from the south.
The river lay before me,
a river of white marble,
a bed of ice
on which shone the January sun.

At one point rose
a miniature iceberg woven
in finest filigree.
Ice of lace it was,
so fine, in fact,
sunlight shone through it.
an act of transparency.

Near shore, marsh grass
lay flattened, frozen in the ice,
its stalks fanned like Ophelia’s hair.
It was then I heard a faint humming
that grew louder as it neared.

I looked skyward.
And, there, a pair of swans
were flying low over the river,
their wings in synch,
humming, humming,
each wing-beat humming,
like slowly flicked whips,
humming whip, whip, whip
in the cold windless air.

Like a pair of miniature SST’s
the swans appeared,
flying over the frozen
fan of Ophelia’s hair,
combed gently by winter’s sun.

Philip Kuepper
(16 January 2017)

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