Innards of October sunshine
coagulate within the trees’ amber leaves as
we cross the Housatonic, weaving
in and out of dregs of light.
Feeble stands of young maples cluster together,
their budding branches hungrily browsed
by an ever-increasing population of
whitetail. The numbers that justify
the hunt. Occasional gashes
of blue beyond and above.
the Pootatuck alongside, clots
of white bobbing in the water,
slowing, perhaps they are singing,
swans, so many of them,
five times over those victims of
Aoife, malicious queen, mean
stepmother. I know that in the first
telling of this tale their human voices
were left within the bone-white bodies
encased in feathers, slender necks bent
by the burden of language.
Yet when I open my window to behold
them now: the utter silence, a castigation.