Marc Swan


on my daily walk 
to the dock each morning 
before winter 
falls hard and fast—
snow and ice, wind howling 
off the shore, I talk with neighbors 
raking leaves, mounting bikes 
for a late season ride, walking 
dogs, setting up pickle ball
courts, conversation
from a distance these days,
you choose which side—
sometimes masks, sometimes not.
Talk moves from sightings 
of the great blue heron 
stalking with lightning strikes 
to the eagles, talons poised,
scanning with that perfect vision 
waiting for a ripple 
or a shift in the flow 
on to the pandemic and politics, 
topics that will be front and center 
into the new year. For now
it’s masks, social distance, 
and hope, floating in the air—
            I can smell it.

Marc Swan’s latest collection, all it would take, was published in May 2020 by tall-lighthouse (UK). Poems forthcoming in Gargoyle, The Stony Thursday Book, Queen’s Quarterly, Chiron Review,among others. He lives in coastal Maine with his wife Dd, a maker and yoga teacher.