White Privilege

Trumpeter Swans
know nothing of
white privilege

White is what they are
down under and above
the down

Except for beaks
as black as ebony
on ivory

Their trumpet calls
are not the honks
of honky privilege

Proud cobs and pens
teach their cygnets
that down is up

With no guile or sneer
at loons and redwing
blackbirds

Ebony and ivory
nesting on the marsh
they share

Beyond the gates
where honkies honk
of privilege

  • Gordon C. Stewart on the wetland with the Trumpeter Swans, loons, and redwing blackbirds, June 21, 2018

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans, Hudson, WI

Trumpeter Swans, Hudson, WI


Soaring, swooning,
Pining, preening,
Spreading wings,
Trumpeting,
Wooing, wanting,
Playing, pairing,
Synchronized swimmers
Spoon for life.

– Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, March 6, 2013; Photo by Kay Stewart