Julian Day

The Swan

An hour to dusk, and the length of her shadow
cast off the pond’s floral bank
just for a moment touched the water:
long-necked, skimming the surface, feathered
by ash and elm. Against that darkening day,
at ease among the wildflowers,
she seemed to me frozen in time –
white cotton dress, a crown of poppies,
and around her waist
a ribbon the colour of fire-light.

When she saw me, she took an end in each hand
and pulled; let the fabric slip
and drop. She led me down
to a bower of mountain ash
and when I came to
she made me
into a swan.


Julian Day has previously lived in Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Ottawa. He currently lives in Winnipeg. His work has recently appeared in Juniper and Ghost City Review, and his debut chapbook will be published by Anstruther Press in early 2021.