Brothers dear, known only to me
as letters carved on coffin lids,
midnight visits and a wing's caress —
Do you think of me when drifting,
passing by clouds and dreams long lost?
Or do you forget my vigil
while soaring high on heaven's breath?
Bound by trials of silence I toil alone
cradled high in these lofty gnarled arms,
— this Middle Earth —
not high enough to palm the moon,
nor so low as to form clay men
while treading upon barren shores.
By day I weave your stinging shirts
working in sweat and skin and bone.
Binding spells of silence and hope
with silken thread torn from my scalp,
charmed with blood drawn from screaming fingertips.
Come night I scan starry skies for you,
Brothers dear, I know your desires
but do you wonder at my needs,
my wishes for fanciful flight?
How could I resist that dark down
lost while you were circling overhead?
Soon you'll know the truth blood brothers,
if you don't suspect the truth already.
One of you will live with a token wing
in trade for time spent sewing my own shirt
About the Author: Carina Bissett is a journalist, poet, and fiction writer living in northern Arizona. This poem was inspired by the fairy tale The Seven Swans, also known as The Six Swans and The Wild Swans.
"Seven Swans" © 2000 by Carina Bissett. The poem may be not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission.