If I had not seen the brilliant white flashes through the trees
I would have mistaken the flapping for thunderous sheets of a schooner
About to tack,
Tangled in the thickening winds,
A woolen cape like flesh pounding the air
Heavy with yesterday’s rain.
Not Leda I, the swan splashed down dramatically and lifted its wings
High, as if to declare its royal lineage or brute strength.
I envied his certainty, his clarity of purpose
And smiled as he drifted through the simmering waters
Surveying his domain
Ruffled now purple and navy blue by the stiffening breeze.
For he rose up from behind the trees and pounded the air above my head
With wings that for all their flesh and feather
Sounded like an ancient windmill groaning.
I was an intruder, he wanted me to know,
Though I saw his bravado as beauty and was not going to move.
I needed this space more than he.
I longed for release,
To be bathed in the wash of fall color,
To be carried by the same swirling winds,
Above the coarse branches and dried out leaves
Now crusty brown, or cayenne and yellow.
A burning red Meadowhawk landed on the rail beside me.
I was still, the sun burning the back of my neck,
A single red maple leaf drifting through a sea of green moss,
A beacon of life ready to surface or waiting
To reveal itself and restore us.
I walk back through the chokeberry and spicebush,
The blueberry and cat-briar canopy,
And stop short of the second spillway to see
Streams of light beams or their shadows
Pulsing against the concrete basin
Raw energy in sheets reflected off the trees
Or through their leaves dancing.
I hold my breath. I cannot move or speak.
To see such evidence of the creative force, energy condensed,
Transformed into the field of potential that is you and me.
A door closes and another opens.
It has always been that way.
It will always be.