Maundy Thursday

 

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I want to tell you about the swans:
how they come all at once,
white arrows honking
against steely gray December skies.

Landing as a white mass
in the canes of muddy corn fields.
Always by the road side
they are there.

I want you to know how I see them,
day after day,
even as the snowline rises
back up the hillside,
and rain falls and floods the ditches
and the windswept land.

I want you to know how the swans come
and stay.

But I also want you to know
how they leave.
Not as a mass,
rising and flying in familiar formation
against the sky.
No, they just go.

In the cusp of a new season
they are no longer there
on my drive to work each day.

I realize their absence
and I see:
the yellow of daffodils and forsythia,
the rose of cherry blossoms and magnolia.

What birds have come in their place
I do not know.
I only know the swans are gone
and spring is come. image

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