Edie Rhoads – After Innocence

Edie RhoadsAfter Innocence


It was your words on the white page

that sent me back to the park, to the lake

where I saw the grey swans molting

telling their white feathers to remember

that most everything is dirty

before it is beautiful.


The swans feed and come up

first the white rumps high over the water

black feet crabbed and kicking, then

duckweed draped in strings over their bills.

Symbols of grace and flight. The one pure white –

the adult male – I’ve seen him hiss and hunch his wings

stampede across the pond’s face heavy with rage.


This is what swans do.

Swirling water – the mother glides

and the mottled young bunch behind.

Their mossy shits will line the pier

at dawn. From the bridge I look on

admiring what I can’t contain.

The swans’ wings punch the air

snow to rain and back.


EDIE RHOADS studied at the University of Virginia and completed her MFA as a New York Times Fellow at NYU. Her poems have appeared in Blackbird, Indiana Review, and Post Road. She works at an elementary school in Burlington.

One Response to “Edie Rhoads – After Innocence”


  1. Honeybee Press - September 29, 2011

    […] Edie Rhoads – After Innocence […]

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