The Rower and the Swallow

16 July 2017

Swallow and willow
sweep low over the river,
willow sweeping the dust of dusk,
swallow so close it almost touches
one oar of the rower in slow row
toward shore.

Glow dull pink on the bank in the dusk
cherry blossoms, breezes
loosened earlier in the day.
Blow now some blossoms
onto the river, the willow
is sweeping, sweeping of dusk,
causing it glow pale.

The rower all but pauses.
The swallow has disappeared.
Only the soft slap of oars on water
prevents me from hearing the willow
sweeping the river.  Hush!
is the swallow in a rush
past the rower as though
goading him row.
The swallow wants to race him.

I am certain of it,
the swallow out for play,
before the river is swept clean
of dusk by the willow,
eager to sweep night in.

Philip Kuepper
(17 May 2017)

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