Message To A Widow

In a small, protected inlet of the evening pond,

loud white in a strong shaft of final, flaming sun,

one swan lies on quiet water,

(not the two of daily habit),

head buried into breast,

asleep on the movement of a gentle swell.

It is as though this radiant path of sun

were heaven sent


to sanctify,

with rich and gold effulgence,

the aloneness of this harbored, newly single bird.

And to reveal to the newly-widowed woman


from the house above the pond,

(no longer “theirs”, she says, now only “hers”),

that solitude can bring


with its sober beauty.

Watching the sun fade,

she sits in the growing dusk,

her hair as white as the swan’s feathers.

— Margaret H. Freydberg