The Swan, poetry written by Maria Dulce Leitão Reis at

The Swan

The Swan

written by: Maria Dulce Leitão Reis


Gave me beautiful moments
But not always
A bed of roses
There were times
It tossed me
Into trials and tribulations
Thump, thump, thump
And abrasions
The sadness
Peaked its Peak
Crumbled into tears
Sweetened by a knob of smile
I kneaded them with the clay
From my grandparents’ backyard
Potter’s wheel
A rough pot arose
Which I refined patiently.
It is the receptacle
Where I keep
The wisdom and love
That my grandparents
Lovingly gave me.

I always felt like an ugly duckling
But when I fluttered
On my grandparents floor
I was a happy duckling.
I was a quiet and shy child
With a sad look
I spent most of my time
Looking inside me
Driven with the urge
To find myself

Along the journey
Whenever needed
I would put my hand
In that magic pot
Of solace and succour
Taking love or wisdom
To continue my walk
In navigating life

I am proud to have done a good job.
Today the pot is an exquisite treat!

I am a cheerful and optimistic woman
Full of enthusiasm
An artist
An incandescent volcano
Who needs to bathe in the sea
To cool down.
The look though sad
Is enigmatic and mysterious
The smile never surrenders
Duels the sadness
Always comes out victorious.

I have no material goods that I can give
But I have an inexhaustible
Source of love
Residing in me
That I give freely

Except for my grandparents
No one has ever loved me
How I think
I should have been loved
It didn’t make me
A bitter person
Nor did it stop me
To spread love around me
And give a hand
Even to those
Who tried to annihilate me.
God never allowed it.
He knew
That new challenges awaited me.
My mission
Is not over yet!



It’s been a long time since I stopped feeling like an ugly duckling. Life set out to put in my way important challenges that required all my strength and knowledge. I strive to perform well at all the tasks entrusted to me.
The ugly duckling, after all, was just the down and the feathers that were carried away by the thunderstorms of life.
Today when I look in the mirror, I only see a swan, the product of hard work, patience and Perseverance.
This pot was also very useful for me, I keep it as a relic, which I reach into, whenever I feel the need for a push.

Thank God.

Maria Dulce Leitao Reis

Maria Dulce Leitao Reis

I was born in Portugal, in the centre of the country. I have two children. I’m retired. I worked in accountancy and I was Businesswoman of Restoration and Fashion. I am living in England since 2006. I am a co-author of 56 Anthologies of Poetry, Prose and Children's Stories and 7 solo books in Portuguese, translated to English. The dream of publishing solo became true. Reading, writing, sudoku, photography, gardening are some of the things I love most. I'm a lover of nature. I fight injustice, inequality, discrimination and violence in every way. I believe in love and peace, vehicles to make the world more balanced, more attractive, where everyone will live joyous and happy. Poetry is an amazing and wonderful force! And it is in this force that I seek the breath to move on and it gives me joy and serenity to live life with sweetness! Poetry is the soul and prolongs me in the dream and draws me closer to God! Poetry is the air I breathe! It is the sap that circulates in my veins and brings fire and passion to every corner of my being! Poetry is love! Poetry is life! Poetry is my bread and my stick!
Maria Dulce Leitao Reis

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