In this dark time of the year,
When buds still sleep on rain-black boughs,
And famine stalks the winter-weary woods,
Stealthy as fox tread, quick as the kestrel,
I do not bend my head in sorrow or in shame,
Or shake green boughs to ward off last year’s ghosts.
I watch the blackbird settled on her nest,
Listen to the cloud-grey turtle dove,
Murm’ring softly to his lifetime’s love,
And make a promise to this burgeoning and blossoming,
To live what I have left of sun and showers,
With as much unselfish passion,
As these feather soft, fur trembling, gentle ones,
My precious siblings.