Swan Falls in Love With Swan Shaped Boat

posted May 15, 2007

BERLIN (Reuters) - A swan has fallen in love with a plastic swan-shaped paddleboat on a pond in the German town of Muenster and has spent the past three weeks flirting with the vessel five times its size, a sailing instructor said Friday.

He's not half nuts, this German swan, to love
Something so near the actual, you might squint
from shore, squishing sand beneath your toes,
to see its broad white belly part the shining

green, neck angled always toward the clouds
deflecting every antic of its frenzied,
mini-suitor. This happens, right? Who among
us with a single red corpuscle hasn't dug in

and waited the whole doomed thing to its conclusion,
wanting some chill beauty to paddle its slow turn
toward us on the man-made lake? In your case,
not a Muenster tourist boat, let's hope, but more like

the narcissist with lovely eyes and a voice
to unzip things to, or the one that cut the right
profile but sank like a Petoskey stone. But still,
in spite of tearstains, sucker punches, fists to the glass

jaw, the dumb heart beats, and tries again. See,
there he goes, beak agog and hissing at the rival
birds, wings spread to seem more menacing, black
webbed feet paddling frantic through the algae.

Then night sets and a silver moon beams down
on bird and boat, afloat alone, and in the pale
light looking for all the world like the shape of love.

Christina Kallery's poems have appeared in Rattle, Hiram Poetry Review, The MacGuffin, Poetry Motel and other publications. She lives in the Detroit area, where she works as a copywriter and freelance journalist.