This poem was written by my wonderful, talented, awe-inspiring mother. She is the voice whispering in the back of my mind, encouraging me to write. Words flock to her like seagulls to a tractor or barn cats to kisses. She piles them atop each other in masterpieces of language and sound and feeling that I can only hope to someday mimic. So, a feature for the woman who taught me to write.
among the lilypads.
The bed that hatched
from the unwanted egg
spindly and pale
among the other, more robust beds.
It grew, its canopy stretching up
towards the swampy night sky
and while the other beds cuddled
with toads and tadpoles
and catfish and crawdads
the swan bed floated empty,
the bog dwellers shunning
its wispy white translucence
in favour of deep, rich dirty tones.
For years it drifted among its kin
empty and despairing of ever finding
sure its covers would remain barren and cold
until the day she came
and stood at the water’s edge,
her long hair streaming with tears,
her hands empty save for wilted flowers
and an old love letter from him
rendered untrue by his cruel words
of an hour before.
And she slipped into the water
much too long and light
for the other waterbeds.
She stood, drowning and bereft
until the swan bed gathered its courage
and swam over.
The girl lifted her eyes
and met the gaze of the swan bed
and both, feeling a sense of quiet,
like the space between the air and the water
fill them, came together
and she climbed onto the wispy white bed
and they paddled away
to sleep among the algae and vines
in the dying green light of the day.
By: Alison Hauch