Six swans swimming.
She sits, stitching.
They don't say thank you anymore.
They did at the beginning,
Their voices still hoarse and squawking,
Newly come from human throats
No longer feathered but still
Swaggering, arrogant, preening.
Left, still shining, white,
Pinion, contour, bastard wing.
They ask her why she didn't finish.
The shirts were made of nettles.
But all that mattered was how they stung to wear
In those brief moments before the change.
What does one do with six princes,
Seven years as birds, their manners forgotten.
They squabble, fly south in the winter
Leaving her in colder climes.
How will he find a queen?
If only you had finished in time.
Still she sits, silent, stitching.