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The Wild Swans of Arlington

By John I. Blair

There they float across the water,
Drifting silently in the mist;
Behind them half-seen rushes
Shelter their secluded nest.
Mute, as their kind have always been,
They lend the pond an air
Of timelessness, like lines
From Shelley, Yeats or Synge.

But no; reality roars in,
The trucks upon the Interstate
Hard by their nesting ground.
Just as well the swans are mute;
Their songs would not be heard
Above the din, nor their cries
Above the thunder of the jets that pass
On final to the airport north of town.

Yet I am glad we have the swans
Here in the park; they represent
The magic we have thrown away,
The past that we have shunned,
The stories we no longer tell,
The wisdom of another day
When mystery dwelled around
And our minds were not bound.

2003 John I. Blair  

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