When the Mute Swans Return


If you ask me, every spring should be spent
on the Seneca. The casual swirl
of wet fingers in the hard yawn of March,
knuckling your way through the cloudy slough;

your tousled likeness tonguing the surface,
the shape of you clapping in on itself
everything slipping away in ripples.
What else would happen pulling at water?

When the mute swans return, a huff of leaves
escapes the nearby tree; the fledgling wind
refuses the home of your lungs. Only
the Finger Lakes catch its breath-a hiccup.

Sometimes the spring lakes feign themselves as clouds;
the mute swans-to fly-pull at the water.