Once I would stand barefoot on the grass
to feed the swans beside the river, giggle
as they pecked the bread from round my toes:
the male stood by, wings raised in hint of threat,
beaded eyes of jet fixed firmly on me.
I thought of Leda, laughed, and shook the long black hair
that dropped below my waist like water to a pool.

Now I am reminded as, silently, my feet cold
in fur-lined slippers, my sight troubled by thin hair
wisping round my brows, I lean here on my gate
to stare at rooks. They gather, black and noisy
in the winter trees, rattle the air like rusty tin.
I watch the rooks and listen,
but my heart remembers swans.

Gill McEvoy.

If you've any comments on this poem, Gill McEvoy would be pleased to hear from you.