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Dying Swan

EMILY ISAACSON

Last Words From A Weaver’s Basket 

It’s just you and me,

when the moon lies low

and the odd little winds blow,

here at our wood cabin by the sea.

It’s our moment together,

when the foghorn sound fades

through deep wooded shores forever,

and the ancient ghost ships wager.

Ships would find their way

by the island’s undertow.

They would ’round the bay

to the old red lighthouse's lantern glow.

The fog winds blew,

when the sky rained dew

over the tips of the woodland fir,

the weaver's basket drips with woven myrrh.

Spirit weavers stand,

as harmonic as the land—

in and out like the tide—

do the shell-brittle hands bide.

It’s just you and me,

still-weaving the sea,

from the heather on the hill

to the salt-hued gulls’ bill.

The rocks were rough and coarse

beneath the spirit weavers’ hands,

and they were graphite bands

departing in cedar-carved force.

There was a garden for a mile

just for you and me;

sit with me for awhile,

while the lilies weave by the sea.

By the mossy shore, the ocean sighs,

where a covert cove hides,

its fingers upon the harpsichord;

resplendent is the light through the plank boards.

Wait with me for a tear

while I echo here—

spirits weaving a basket into a braid,

sit here, while I am afraid.

When there is no more sun, and no more eves,

and the earth bows down,

we will be sinking into the ground.

Sit here, while the spirit weaves.

I let you hold my hand

between sea and land,

where the pulse beats fine;

there is enough dulse for you and I.

It’s just our last mussel pearl

for the sinking world,

while the wild wind blows,

and the glittering river flows.

I will not love lend,

but my fingers break and bend

with the spirit weavers, and boldly fare—

leaving behind my cold broken rocking chair.

The round wood door into paradise

lies low to the earth, but in a fever

who would unearth the gold weaver

and her basket: who would ever find it?

There is a gracious door for you and I

that we found by and by;

don’t forget to listen to the brine,

and decipher her salty rhyme.

See the women on the shore there

that have turned into stones;

there is someone singing into the foam—

and the spirit weavers are braiding her hair.

Emily Isaacson