Death of a Swan

None saw the shooter in the shaded corner,
His bullets spouted in the black swan's wake.
The bird was a diamond in the distance, scoring
scratch lines on the plate glass lake.

Each silent shot was followed by its sound 
A trodden stick, a bone snapped, and the spurt
With its pencil slender water sound. Then one
Hit, splashless, hateful, and the swan was hurt.

She beat her wings and rings of ripples went
From that uncouth disturbance to each bank,
And a wing went up and gestured like an arm,
Ghostly white--it waved farewell and sank.

Cathleen Benson