Bronx Swans

by Bernard Henrie
The Writer's Block
Honorable Mention, September 2007
Judged by Deborah Bogen

I have forgotten nothing: A sack lunch
and dried bread for the aging swan;
the underside stained burlap the color
of a Bronx pond; the anonymous traffic
on Canal street, the concrete bench
and park attendant clearing trash.

A woman who visited the shell basin
of our meeting place; a monotone
in the summer afternoon of gaps and sighs;
the azure turn of sky; the park slowed
to the barely visible gesture of the swan;
the brackish waft of wings and khaki feathers;

glazed beak stamped into dower mud
and soured water. The swan left out all night
alone as a man who fears an illness,
a porch light left burning with no one to see.