The Endings of Swan Lake                                  

            The beginning is a lot less complicated –
            Prince Siegfried goes a-hunting for a swan
            And is about to bag it when it turns
            Into Odette (a princess, naturally)
            They fall in love
            But there’s a hitch:
            She’s only human during nights
            Because a bad guy’s cast a spell on her
            (And lots of friends, it turns out too)
            That’s hard to break unless
            The prince will love her for eternity
            So far so good
            Siegfried prepares for marriage
            But is duped into declaring his intentions
            For Odile
            A double who has masqueraded as his girl
            Thus the spell is reinforced
            The prince discovers the duplicity
            And begs forgiveness of Odette
            To whom he dedicates his heart
            Too late
            She drowns herself and Siegfried joins her in the lake,
            Rothbart (the evil sorcerer) is destroyed
            And all the incidental swans return to human form
            In other versions
            Siegfried dies, Odette remains a swan
            Or she’s restored to human form
            To marry him
            Or Siegfried’s left alone to mourn
            Her death by suicide
            Or both turn into swans after they kill themselves
            There’s even one where
            Rothbart kills his rival and escorts Odette
            To heaven
            They’re happy all the same
            No matter which
            They have to be
            When laundry’s been eliminated from the list


            Emanuel E. García, Sinking In, One Hundred Poems2013