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Marc Swan

Marc Swan’s fifth collection, all it would take, was published in 2020 by tall-lighthouse (UK). Poems forthcoming in Chiron Review, Gargoyle, Steam Ticket, Coal City Review, among others. He lives in coastal Maine with his wife Dd, a maker and yoga teacher. Marc’s collection, today can take your breath away was Sheila-Na-Gig Editions’ first volume:

The Yellow Wheelbarrow

for Dd

At the end of the lawn
where the steep slope falls
into the tributary that flows
in the spring melt,
years of accumulated debris
crowds the riverbank.
She parks the yellow wheelbarrow
with the flat-free tire,
carries her rake and shovel,
sometimes a pitchfork and loppers
to work the overgrown terrain
finding lost bottles, unbroken
ceramic and glass cups, metal plates,
a busted Zippo lighter,
and a pipe with a wooden bowl,
small animal skulls and bones,
tarnished silverware,
old tires and rims, rubber tubing,
ropes twisted and shredded,
thick metal pipes and drains,
yesterday a Victor Bo’Sun knife
rusted, but not beyond repair.
Treasures she uncovers
and spends hours cleaning
and polishing, removing years
of discarded disuse.
My concern is the slip and slide
of the tangled roots, wet leaves,
and grasses on the downside.
Today she took a whistle
to alert me if she falls.
In my office I hear a faint
call then more distinct
coming from the riverbank.
I rush to the door—
a cedar waxwing flies by.

Oyster Sunday

In the cold, never ending it seems,
days of winter in Maine
trying to find spring,
one respite is the routine
of Sunday afternoon oysters
with white wine, crisp and chilled
from Sonoma County. This week
Eider Cove and Moondancers
freshly harvested from coastal
fingers that drop down
into Casco Bay.
On this second day of spring,
water too cold for swimming
or boating, ice floes lodged
along the banks,
a neighbor walks by from the dock
barefoot in a wet suit,
red paddle board under one arm.
I ask of the water,
“Brr,” he says, “can’t feel my toes.”
I smile, see my younger self
walking alongside this forty-
carrying my board,
not red, but festive in its own right.

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