In One Fell Swoop

In One Fell Swoop

by Elizabeth Challinor

‘In one fell swoop’

I heard someone say


And smiled


Recalling my English teacher’s words

The murder of Macduff's wife and all his children

In one vicious blow

Was evil

This is the meaning of 'fell'

In Shakespeare's Macbeth

Since fallen by the wayside


In one swoop

To signify nothing at all

I smiled sadly


Occupying my high academic ground

Until one day

I tripped up

And fell

In the mud

And came face to face with a flower

Petals open to the world

Once a tightly shut bud

Now exposed to the ever-changing present

A butterfly settled on its petals

A child ran past chasing a ball

I took a deep breath

Stood up

And running to shake off the mud

Let go of every negative meaning

I had ever given to my life

In one fell swoop

Dedicated to my English teacher Mr Chambers at Blessed William Howard

Elizabeth Challinor