He had sent for her in the small silver boat with the swan's head carved on its prow. All morning

she had sailed down the canal, a quiet sense of expectation in her breast growing stronger

as they left the sweeps of wide, green fields and moved amongst the grey-black branches of

the trees growing at the very edge of the canal.  Her boat rounded a wide bend and before

her the dark branches suddenly burst with lavender.  Both sides of the canal were layered

with the pastel fluff of thick redbud blossoms so that, combined with their reflections on the

waters of the canal, she found she had floated into a world unreal in its aspect of beauty.

She smiled.  Ahead lay a further bend.  He would be there, waiting for her, she knew.



Jo Anzalone