Spring Swan

swans die in the Spring too
and there it floated
dead on a Sunday
sideways
circling in current
and I walked to the rotunda
and overhead
gods in chariots
dogs, women
circled,
and death
ran down my throat
like a mouse,
and I heard the people coming
with their picnic bags
and laughter,
and I felt guilty
for the swan
as if death
were a thing of shame
and like a fool
I walked away
and left them
my beautiful swan.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1958-1964
This poem appeared in the following books: