by Wendy Howe

Why I was born three parts woman
and one part swan -- I will never know.

Without arms to carry, sweep or tend
a man like those village brides
wearing lace caps and wide skirts,

my wings are useless to a home
except when I shed. Then feathers
are gathered and stuffed
into pillows or quilts.

Yet, when evening throws her shadow
across the garden, I fly.

Sleek and sensitive, my wings
skim moonlight off the wind
and fan the air
with something sensuous,

the scent of dew
penetrating white gardenias,

the burst of grapes
ripening on a hill's upper thigh,

and the need of a woman
to be touched by that husband

who has absorbed the warmth
of supper's table,
its candle flame, its wine bouquet.

Wendy Howe is an English teacher and freelance writer who lives with her life partner and teenage stepdaughter in Southern California. Her Spanish style house overlooks a field of Joshua trees that embrace a spectacular skyline and lodge a host of crows, ravens and one owl that appears on cloudy nights when the moon is dissolved in mist. They enhance her Bohemian spirit and imagination as much as writing poetry does. She has been published in a variety of on-line and in-print literary journals including Stirring, A Literary Collection, 3rd Muse, Eclectica, Panda Poetry, The-Muse-Apprentice-Guild, The Green Tricycle, Skyline Magazine, Southern Ocean Review, Saucy Vox, Mi-Poesias, Lotus Blooms Journal, Niederngasse, Black Mail Press, and The Red River Review. She says, "My favourite fruit is honeydew melon. I really love its sweet, cool flavor in the Summer and throughout the year."

Back to the Table of Contents.