A poem by Sharon Black

House of Swan

You strike
and I flare inside a cage of ice,
dance the dance you taught me as a cygnet
when you made me walk across your cigarette’s flicked ash.

Too narrow for the spread of wings
but wide enough to gaze for hours at my reflection
as bones fused into shapes too tight
for normal flight.

I am older now.
The ice has melted, I glide on water;
have pledged myself to a different mirror image
and built a nest of softest down.

Yet still you strike
your words against me,
still the flame burns bright

while underneath these feathers
my skin sings for you,
black as char.
(from To Know Bedrock)
Sharon Black is from Glasgow but now lives in the Cevennes mountains of southern France. Her first collection of poetry To Know Bedrock was published in 2011 by Pindrop Press.

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