From Leda’s Cousin, Marcelle (Writing of Things Past)

From Leda’s Cousin, Marcelle (Writing of
Things Past)

Swan, it turned out,
was not the same
as swain
and it was a good thing she’d first pressed just
a caress, meaning that only her thumb
(still screaming inside) was bandaged
and that the ER had believed her story
about the bread.

But now her head (read, heart) ached so–
not because she was grandiose
but because she was, let’s call it, scientific, her curiosity
terrific, and also, well,
angry
at everyone who’d said that Leda’d lied,
that she’d just lain beside, you know,
some fellow–

And because she was also–and this feeling barely
made itself known, though its sound would not
be drowned,
hungry–

for the fervor of
the not-so-much male–who could honestly tell
with a swan?
a being that, unlike a man, would understand
the trick of not
clipping wings,
the slickness
of fomented flutter, the feathering of
her breast–

But swans were not, it seemed, the way–
and holding her sore hand,
she knew she’d need
no further
remembrancer.

************

A second and rather lighter approach to Shay, Fireblossom’s, prompt on Real Toads to write a response to a painting by Gerda Wegener.  I confess that there was a particular Wegener painting of girl amusing or amused by a swan that I was thinking of, but I had a very hard time uploading it to my blog, and thought maybe I better stick, in any case, to a different Wegener image–the beautiful one above.  Copyright may exist on the image–I will take down immediately on request.

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10 Comments on “From Leda’s Cousin, Marcelle (Writing of Things Past)”

  1. coalblack Says:

    Who can tell, with a swan? Not me! I suppose one must figure it out from its actions!

  2. Zoe Says:

    I love the voice in this.

    Her story about the bread. That cracked me up!

    I adore this section:
    “not because she was grandiose
    but because she was, let’s call it, scientific, her curiosity
    terrific, and also, well,
    angry
    at everyone who’d said that Leda’d lied,
    that she’d just lain beside, you know,
    some fellow”

  3. Polly Says:

    I was hooked right away, terrific opening lines k. I like the sense of not-quite-disappointment or maybe disappointment covered — love it…what a way to start 2016 🙂

  4. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I really enjoyed the point of view you have created – a more worldly wise interpretation of what went on between Leda and the swan.

  5. hedgewitch Says:

    A delightful ramble through the intricacies of attraction, and the pain of feeding something with a very snatchy beak.The internal rhyme really gives support and cadence as well as a song-like feeling(like a tune in the background) and the narrator seems not so very injured that she can’t ruefully reflect and move on. Agree it is a very beautiful picture choice–the shadowy faces behind her especially.I also think it picks up and weaves in the threads of Wegener’s own story very well.

  6. Sherry Marr Says:

    I especially like the swan understanding “the trick of not clipping wings”…and the feathery breast.


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