A Flight of Swallows

By Timothy DeJong

The hush between predawn and dawn.

A dog barks at some ghostly scent

That hangs in the near-still air, blent

With dew beading on the wet lawn,

And the hush breaks, as swallows flee

Their perch in a great sudden rush,

Like gray leaves, rising in a flush

Of scattered wings. As if the tree


Had sent them forth to scour the sodden sky,

As if their plosive spangled flight were one

Unity meant to cheer and mystify

Its lonely watcher: a small gray storm spun

From a dog’s shout. The swallows fly—and I

Turn back, happy at heart, my day begun.



Timothy DeJong is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at Western University in London, Ontario. He’s currently at work on a dissertation exploring sympathy in 1950s American poetics. His poem “Canada: A Sestina” was the 2010 winner of the Marguerite R. Dow Canadian Heritage Award in Creative Writing. Previously, he was also the recipient of the Maitland J. Banting Silver Quill Award for excellence in creative writing. His article “Between the Is and the Is Not: Northrop Frye, Adaptation, and the Romantic Imagination” appeared in the journal English Studies in Canada.

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