The Swan Princess Speaks

by Sujata Bhatt

Because I found myself alone
in a cold, dark country, my mother long dead,
my father murdered, my brothers driven far away,
far beyond rivers and mountains I knew –
because I found myself alone
I wanted to be everything:
a girl and a swan. I wanted to be free
to fly anywhere, to be a bird at home in any land,
at home on water and in the air.
I dreamed a world where water lilies
guide me. Fish glisten, sliding through deeper shadows.
Wind-entangled light surrounds me.
I asked the sun to give me strength,
the moon, to heal my soul. I learned to sing
the language of the stars.
And so I lived as a girl and a swan.
I grew stronger. I searched for my brothers.
Do not ask me to say more,
this is enough for today.