By Von Thompson

on water you’d expect swans
to trill melodious, notes
as graceful as their royal necks.
But their call is more trailer park,
more curlered head and torn
polyester babydoll, Pall Mall Alto.
It’s only when they pull 
themselves out of the water, moving
like that mermaid who traded dancing
waves for ground glass footsteps,
that you see the awkwardness
they hide behind that silent slipping
rippled grace. You see those too
thin legs, too close together
trying to hold up a body
better built for water than gravity.
You’ll forgive me if I remember
seventh grade, my first dance,
my unrefined adolescent voice
and my wish to slip away
and leave only ripples.