At Swan Island

they fall all round me, ghostly swans
filling the sky like snow. The thunder of their wings
drowns the hum of the pumping station. Suddenly the piers
are hidden by giant cattails waving
above my head.

I am not me. I am someone who walks dry-shod
across the Willamette on the shining backs
of salmon coming upriver to spawn. Who falls asleep
every night to the cackling of sentinel geese. Who never stood
alone on the shores of Swan Island, waiting, hoping
straining her eyes to see overhead
a single cormorant.

Tiel Aisha Ansari

About Tiel Aisha Ansari

Tiel Aisha Ansari is a Sufi, martial artist, and data analyst living in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in Fault Lines Poetry, Windfall, Verseweavers, The Lyric, Mascara, and an Everyman's Library anthology, among others. Her poetry has been featured on KBOO, Prairie Home Companion and MiPoRadio and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her collection Knocking from Inside is available from Ecstatic Exchange, and her chapbook High-Voltage Lines from Barefoot Muse Press. Visit her online at and
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.