The Dark Season

Nothing comes, unchanged, through that zero winter--

the grave-toothed frost, the hunchbacked snow.

Whatever returns from that cruel season 's

changed, changed inwardly and forever,

though the outward shape we seem to know.

Cold takes its witless toll. Roots cower,

though the black trunk stands in the wincing air.

The seed that drops from the bloom in summer,

to lie in earth, next spring to flower,

is not the flower that bloomed before.

Crouch deep in your cave. Seek out night's shelter,

and wake far on, in some later spring.

Though the woods show the same green face and the river,

whatever outlasts that long dark winter

comes back from the cold, a different thing.

Copyright 2010-2012 Paul Petrie