The Swans

DS Maolalai recently returned to Ireland after four years away, now spending his days working maintenance dispatch for a bank and his nights looking out the window and wishing he had a view. His first collection, Love is Breaking Plates in the Garden, was published in 2016 by the Encircle Press. He has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

The swans

at the bridge
the canal,
10 metres across
no waterfall tumbling,
no dramatic
on ice,
the barrier
stretched on each end
catching cans and crisp packets
and swans
swarming the piazza
to snap at scrapped bread,
mean as toads,
their flat feet slapping the pavestones;
I told you I loved you there
my skinny words
by the skinny sight of water
and the swans’ skinny necks,
and you,
much as the swans
ruined their majesty
with stumbling
in the lust for crumbs,
accepted my words
and moved on
like a popsicle
or a scone
sliding over a plate,
and you kissed me
and brought me away,
with your hand in my hand
as little as candy,
to some place
I could stop making
the ugly comparisons
I do.

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