Poetry by Marc Swan


With those of us of a certain age
and a certain orientation on life,
there’s a moment in the conversation—
maybe in a bar, library book group,
on a beach by the Mediterranean or
under an arbor, friends gathered together
on a warm summer’s night with wine,
small plates, congenial small talk
that the subject shifts, often from
a seemingly unrelated topic,
to that day: where we were, what
we felt, who we knew, how fourteen
years later the images hold so close
I feel a tear form, a need to shift
the topic, anywhere will do. It’s
the jumpers I see, hands held tightly,
the ground so far away, the wind,
well I can only imagine how that felt
as they dropped like apples off the limb,
after the phone calls, after making
a choice I hope I never have to make.

Marc Swan lives in Portland Maine. His third collection, Simple Distraction, selected poems from 1989 to 2009, was published in 2009 by tall-lighthouse, London, England. Poems coming out this year in Chiron Review, Gargoyle, Ottawa Arts Review, Misfit, Nerve Cowboy and Straylight, among others.

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