At a Distance

They’ve taken down the trees

round Keeper’s Pool. The water’s lifeless,

bright and calm, the only creatures left

are two white swans, their nest

a circled heap of twigs and litter

a few yards from a park bench

looking at the view – the golf-course,

flagged and sweatered.


Forever symbols in some poem;

what these swans are is what they do.

They have no thought or use

for us, their watchers, or for the men

more distant in the fine spring rain

dragging their clubs across the green.