water bird, dweller of scared pools of thought and voice

none but fish see the struggle behind your gliding grace

In flight your legs restless to wrestle with the waves,


must all swan song be just before death?

you, who see beyond all our veils

teach me your sight and eloquance

may i hold a feather to my heart

wear your mantle like Lir’s child?


you, so protective of your young

loyal to your mate as to the sun

help me cross love’s boundaries

to know the river’s flow once more


Your mouth can speak poetry

or it may rip off limbs

but none may slay you

without blood on their lungs;


Love’s voice is like a bell that may awake me

from a growing silence fearful of life passing,

that bell that may awake from soul sleep

so we may take our truest shapes again


antonia zenkevitch