about the author

Katherine MacCue is a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet who lives in New York. She graduated from the George Washington University where she studied the French language and History. She has been published in various journals and has work forthcoming in Laundry Lines Anthology and Pirene’s Fountain. She enjoys rainy days along the shore and spending time with her family. You can find her blogging at thenearlyfamous.blogspot.com.

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The Swans

Katherine MacCue

Last night I dreamed of swans unfurling,
knuckle-boned, necks twisting around

like long braided ropes, rearing up their wings
that span across the back of their history

known on earth as Grace incarnate; done
with brooding and distraction, coldclapping

their four greatly feathered flanks, striking
with elbow-anchored bones, jabbing into

each other’s bulbous heft of breast, striking
again as the water surrounding them glistened

blue like a damp bedspread or wrestling mat,
splashes turning into beads of dreamsweat,

and the swans, stuck in a fit of pulsating
blows, half-drowning, reached, still, towards

triumph until finally shifting apart, untangling
their bodies to ascend separate stretches of earth,

mortality hitting them hardest of all, collapsing
in equal surrender against the mudflat.

When I awoke I thought, this must be how it is
done in the afterlife, our sorrows loosening

from the anchor of battling archangels’ backs,
a fury of white down that slowly whirs itself to sleep.

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