Mature Love

Midwinter poem

Why are you so forlorn my love
In this midwinter storm
Old man winter's half spent
His strength still formidable but diminished
And the days have started their slow climb towards the height of summers long day
 
The rains have come again though
They've not yet washed the earth
Of the ice and dirty snow
But the ground beneath is softened now
And its only a matter of time 
Til the birch-sap begins to flow
 
Keep laying out seeds of faith my love
For the sparrow and the chickadee
And let their chattering warm your heart
And do not begrudge the deer the cedar in the backyard
While all nature awaits in reverent silence
For the warmth and grace of spring
 
Last summer the gods blessed your garden
The tiny apple-tree nearly broke beneath the weight
A harvest to remember and apple pie for Christmas
The dahlias looked radiant in the midnight sun
And even still the parsley in your greenhouse hangs on
You must have known even then, the winter would be long
 
It's the way of the world my love
This sacred circle of life and death 
Like the dry bulbs you have stored
Silent on a cold and dark cellar shelf
Carefully wrapped and stored in hope
Of the warmth and new life of spring
 
You and I have grown old my love
Our love like the gnarled old pine
Where your father's swing still hangs
There is yet strength enough in our limbs
To bear our children's children's weight
And the snows of winters yet to come
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