Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Boston Swans

I vaguely recollect that there are swans
somewhere famous in Boston, somewhere Lowell
might think them his, a bird grant from the Crown.
He might discuss with Dr Holmes at night,
after the port passed by too many times,
how Zeus had managed Leda. This would pass
for smut among the philocrats, I swan.

“Under a spreading chestnut tree,” they’d laugh.
“Beg pardon?” said the emissary from
the Court of St James. “A longfellow joke,” Lowell said.
“Uh-huh,” said Robert, many years away,
trying to fit both skunk and sour cream
into his recollections of a swan
whose loins devolved a war it could not stop.
The Boston pops have brought their kids to hear
Napoleonic cannon foddering.
They hum as they tuck cobs back in their hampers,
decorously wrapped. Here Ted Williams hit
.400, which was nothing, if you count
percentages left lying in the snow
so Bonaparte could win the Triple Crown,
ambitions learned from Alexander, who
differed from Plato as to Homer’s hit.
Home and away, it all came down to swans.

--In memoriam Paula Tatarunis

No comments: