Suddenly the Swans
Suddenly the swans chose us
For no one knows why;
There were two of them, lifelong companions,
And the village has plenty of those.
They settled on our backwater
Like some portent from a mythology
That none of us was familiar with.
And folk came from Candlers and Farside,
Hewley and Pearson Garth,
Hurrying with cameras and kids,
Everyone wanting to marvel and ask
“Why us? Why did the royal birds choose us?
And where on earth did they come from?”
Mick said he’d seen them gliding downriver
Among reeds and rain oh a good week ago.
To Ryan’s dog, a wet barking bundle,
They were white ghosts on water
Whereas the cottage kids saw fairy transport;
To Richard they were nowt but lawn-wreckers.
Time’s hands did somersaults that August day,
Returning us to our long lost forefathers
And we all pondered if it was for good or ill.
I rose in the night’s hard centre,
Convinced all was not right with the world,
But through the bedroom window
I was relieved they were still there,
A protection against the power of deep,
Their heads bowed in symmetrical sleep.