Golf Poem: Of Geese and Swans

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6C

Sue Thomas is a poet; her husband is a golfer.

Thomas' poem "Pas Des Deux" refers to both the ballet "Swan Lake" and something unsettling that her husband recently witnessed at a Sacramento course – and all too often something like it, she said.

"We were both sobbing at the horror of what had happened," said Thomas, 71, who increasingly questions whether golf is a gentleman's game.

Thomas is a retired high school English teacher with stints at Florin and Valley. She played the role of a "terrible swan for years as a kid – I was the fattest and tallest," she said. She is a sensitive soul.

Her poem isn't for everybody – which is? – but it does make you think.

– Steve Pajak

Pas Des Deux

By Sue Thomas

Near a marshy pond at the edge

of the fairway, a goose crouches unmoving,

graceful gray wings forward covering her head.

She is Odile at the moment of betrayal

and there is no escape from the spell.

Her sorrow is evident in language

of the body. She is beautiful but doomed.

She hears me stop, raises her head

to face me – with blinded eyes, crushed skull.

Oh that I were Siegfried here to beg

forgiveness, to carry her up to heaven.

Let her die quietly before nightfall

when coyotes will come and tear her to bits,

this goose of late summer,

no swan beloved of a prince.

Her spell that she has made her home

on a golf course where a good lie

is more important than life itself.

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