Between witch hazel, mountain laurel,
a curving earthen footpath slopes
to the high point.
Seven sisters in the river, seven white islands
bright as the ash of an animal fire
in the grey sun.
She paints her blue shape of the world
in the clear waters we grieve
as the tallow of the beast colors the stream.
The rain tower descends with a talon
as the back of the mountain cages her heart
with the winter buried we shall enter.
About John Swain:
John Swain lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Least Bittern Books published his second collection, Under the Mountain Born.