Swan ride

The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

Deuteronomy 33:12

This evening,
gliding along smooth as silk,
pouring through waters
mother mute swan swam,
her fluffy youngster
riding high on feathered shoulders,
tucked up in belonging.

To me
the cygnet's life style
was enviable:
how splendid to be borne along
above troubles, sorrows,
feeling only the pressure of gentleness,
the caressing of wings—
how fortunate these fledglings!

Riverside thoughts
made me long for a swan-back,
a pick-me-up and a take-me-along
in the backwash of waving hopes;
but here Love spoke,
piercing the gulls' wheeling
and the night-bird's call,
that "the beloved of the Lord shall dwell ...
between his shoulders."

Happily I understood:
there are swan rides for us all.

Shirley Mary Nicholson

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May 15, 1989

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