Becoming the Lady of the Lake

Rebecca Watts

It happened quickly. Her arm, in perfect form,
stretched towards a waning gibbous in the bright 
afternoon.  Drops of water in a freezing arc haloed
her head, then fell.

Now the frozen bits lay scattered like broken glass, 
the ice-spiked maiden’s mouth O’ed above the surface, 
a portal for breath.  But no whoosh of air sought refuge 
in warm lungs, only the biting cold.  

When the wedge arrived, there was much huddle
and fret, squawking solutions for a rescue.  The bevy
waddled into position, plumped feathered breasts,
and began a syncopated stretch of wings and wait.  

Time stopped,
                         time sped.
                                              Time fooled,
                                                                     time fed.

Patience and loyalty, these are the things that turn 
swans heroic:  they do what they do
and a maiden survives her own ambition.       


Rebecca Watts was a public librarian for nearly twenty years when she retired to pursue other interests. She studies environmental issues, participates in invasive species identification, and picks up trash at reservoirs with the local Water Guardians. She also enjoyed being on the screening committee for short films for the 2019 Atlanta Film Festival. As a freelance editor, Rebecca has helped many independent authors polish their work before publication. She has had poetry published in Yemassee, Firewords Magazine, and Blue Lake Review. She also has work scheduled for publication in the July 2019 issue of Bethlehem Writers Roundtable.

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