Sam Garvan

My Father as a Swan

The phone rang before dawn –
my mother
giving me every detail that she could,
when it had happened,
what he had looked like,
what he had said
or might have said
if her hearing had only been better,
if only his voice had been stronger.

Later I watched as the morning, layer by layer,
lifted its pale hems, then

a white speck on the horizon
like a sail approaching

became a swan,
alone across rooftops,
wing-beat unsteady,
its whole demeanour uncertain
as if blown off course, as if
even its destination were unknown.

It was not my father of course, and yet
I wished it
a safe, safe passage
as it cleared the eaves of our house.

 

Sam Garvan has work published / forthcoming 
in anthologies and journals including, most
recently, The French Literary Review, Ink, Sweat
& Tears, Impossible Archetype, and Black Bough.
He has a Ph.D. from London University and
works for a London beekeeper.