In the sound of silence
Before the frost began to melt
He heard them coming, calling him
One by one them came, arched necks reaching high
The ripples drew near
Painting geometric patterns on the still black deep.
Hands, chilled to the bone.
From the cold or from the gradual paralysis?
He didn’t know anymore
They always shook these days.
Drawing out the crusts of his bread
He splattered them onto the black canvas
Their proud heads dipped to squabble over the leftovers
Staining their pure feathers with shades of dull turquoise and browns.
He beckoned them closer with shaking fists
And more crumbs rained down
Landing like puddles.
As the ripple effect closed into the bank
He saw her.
Her wide, circular eyes. Turquoise.
She was gone.
The sun peeped out from the clouds
Only for a second
Enough for her long, golden locks to glimmer from the rocking of each wave.
His hand twitched.
More crumbs came plummeting down,
Storming over their feathers
Where he saw her again
Her deep white skin, magical like snow in the sunlight
As she danced in the rain
Catching all the raindrops in her bare hands
Because they were finally free.
Elegant and proud, their feathers whipped out as they climbed higher into the air
To catch the pieces before they were spoiled in the water.
He watched the swans.
And on cue
When he remembered
That it was all just a dream.