Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 104

Current | Anne Britting Oleson

He gave you the news

while you sat between dinner

and coffee, the linen

stained beside the plate where

he'd laid his silver down.

Now he played with the spoon,

turning it over in his long fingers,

his eyes turned to the window,

beyond which the river flowed

like smoke into the fading light:

silvered, a hardness like coins,

with all color bled away.

His profile, minted, expressionless,

reflected in the glass, and you,

unable to understand the words,

stared instead at the single swan,

a slash against all that gray,

as it drifted slowly with the current,

drifted slowly away, its head

tucked beneath one folded wing.