• taite.lily

Swan Bed

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.

Swan bed,

ugly duckling

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

amphibian love

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

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