This strange time of life hidden in brown death.
The earth still crusted with ice. Birds still seek
their meager seeds and fight this Goliath
of cold as big as the world. Out they peek
from under wing as the rising sun makes
the sky pearl and winter’s unblinking stare
loses its nerve. Crocuses are awake
though the barren trees still sleep as the bare
cross will likewise know no fruit but our pain
for forty days. Slow, slow, slow, is the joy
that splits the husk and cracks our heart’s hope’s grain,
till pressure of water and sun destroys
winter with summer green’s living upthrust
and Death remembers that it is but dust.