The time the drunk ran straight over a swan,
we banged with fists on bonnet, window glass,
to try to make him stop. He drove along
the shore to Bosham Hoe, between salt marsh
and coast wall strung with weed. It lay just dazed
on sea-spat stones, it’s legs at angles, wings
still beating, heaving like lungs gulping air.
Lurching wildly, it headed out to sea,
the gaggle— white shapes resting, tugging grass
or staring flint-eyed out, across the marsh.
I kept my eyes on it, tried not to blink—
the sun so bright I had no choice. I blinked
and lost track of which one it was—somehow
it seemed to me, I was the one at fault.
Karen Jane Cannon’s poems have appeared in a variety of print and online journals, including Acumen, Orbis, Obsessed with Pipework, The Interpreter’s House, Ink, Sweat & Tears and Popshot. She was commended for The Flambard Poetry Prize 2014.