Today's poem is by Brian Swann

Sodden Stars

In my high meadow unnaturally sweet with thyme
the sharp-shin rang and small birds dove for cover, spooking

the horses and a deer who leaped the dry-stone wall. I watched
the hunter swoop and swerve like the Hawker Hurricane

my father made and I flew, until sky erupted out of nowhere
catching me off guard, blowing the killdeer off her nest.

Night was still too warm when I entered the lake careful
not to disturb stars, steering them aside, but they followed

like lost vowels until I got to the center, if water has a center,
when they drifted away over this reservoir of drowned towns

where I lay on my back, looking up at the turning world
in what my father called "the dead man's float," the paradox

that saved his life more than once from an oil-soaked
North Atlantic when out of nowhere, depth-charge, Stuka,

or torpedo hit, and I waited for the lake to take its time keeping
me up above where sodden stars drifted down empty streets.

Copyright © 2016 Brian Swann All rights reserved
from St. Francis and the Flies
Autumn House Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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