Swallows

It was once thought that swallows 
wintered on the moon,
or morphed into field mice
beneath the autumn swoon
 
of clouds, or slept beneath
wavelets on the floor
of shadowy ponds and lakes
until the sudden lure
 
of springtime roused them from
the kingdom of the dead.
Early Christians believed
they swirled around the head
 
of Jesus, giving comfort
as he bore his heavy cross,
or they were harbingers
of heaven after loss.
 
Today I look above
the eaves as autumn blooms 
in the deep well of the sky,
my house’s empty rooms
 
echoing only wind,
the memory of their song.
They have flown south for winter,
which here is dark and long.
 

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About Leo Yankevich

Leo Yankevich’s latest books are The Last Silesian (The Mandrake Press, 2005) and Tikkun Olam & Other Poems (Second Expanded Edition) (Counter-Currents Publishing, 2012). His poems have appeared in Amelia, American Jones Building & Maintenance, Artword Quarterly, Beauty for Ashes Poetry Review, Blue Unicorn, Candelabrum, Cedar Hill Review, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, CounterPunch, Disquieting Muses, Edge City Review, Electric Acorn, Envoi, FutureCycle Poetry, Harpstrings, Iambs & Trochees, Iota, Ironwood, Kimera, Lite: Baltimore's Literary Newspaper, Lucid Rhythms, Mr. Cogito, New Hope International, Nostoc, Parnassus Literary Journal, Pennine Platform, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Poetry Nottingham, Psychopoetica, Raintown Review, Riverrun, Romantics Quarterly, Ship of Fools, Snakeskin, Sonnet Scroll, Staple, Sulphur River Literary Review, Tennessee Quarterly, The Barefoot Muse, The East River Review, The Eclectic Muse, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, The London Magazine, The MacGuffin, The Monongahela Review, The Neovictorian/Cochlea, thehypertexts.com, The Pennsylvania Review, The Sarmatian Review, The Tennessee Review, Tucumcari Literary Review, Trinacria, Visions International, Weyfarers, Whelks Walk Review, Windsor Review, inter alia. He is editor of The New Formalist. More of his work can be found at Leo Yankevich.com.