Swallows of Capistrano by Bob Bradshaw

Swallows of Capistrano

Remember
the fork tailed swallows
swooping and dipping
in the warm air currents,
our own hearts light
as scarves?

After you left me,
I was a mess,
everything an effort–going
to work, making dinner–
my heart heavy,
weighted in muck.

I glance at the tourists,
half-expecting to see you,
the crowds thinning on this,
San Juan’s Day,
like a kettle’s dying
steam.

A swallow hangs
high above the stone mission,
one of the last swallows
leaving Capistrano
for Argentina

–but my heart has no place
to winter. Like me
it has become a stranger
in Capistrano,
with no where
to go.

by Bob Bradshaw

Editor’s Note: This poem of loss is made all the more poignant by the real life story of the swallows disappearing.