The Swans on Paint Shop Pond

by Con Chapman

They glide along silently,
like white snow mounds
on the water ringed with ice.


What I can see
from the road at the edge of town
isn't much. I look twice


but I need to keep my eyes
on the road. A disturbance at home
has sent me out into the cold,

where I will walk in the guise
of one who merely wants to roam
a snow-covered field, or so I told


them. The pond at its center is thawed
and the swans pass
over the water polluted by paint.

It seems odd:
the placid surface,
the stately birds, the taint

is far below
and harmless, unless you drink
the water they glide upon.

Paddling on, the swans turn to depart.
Soon they are gone and I have
seen enough to calm my troubled heart.