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The Long Winter

ISSUE:  Winter 1952

On a morning in March she wakens, Demeter’s daughter,
out of her six months’ night, as though time had called her,
and leaving the side of her dark lord, steps through the cold room.

She wonders in a whisper at the window, Is it time to waken?
Has the hour come? Has the summoning word been spoken?
Is the whirling world ready yet to conceive bloom?

Looks out and beholds the majestic and crystalline morning
of the third day, resounding in rings of color on the mountain,
fire upon ice, light in love still with pure abstraction.

Perceives with tenderness the ethereal and infertile
flowering of frost forms, like the Word half breath still,
like the precise and delicate echo of Creation.

Seeing that thought is not yet ready to receive life,
Demeter’s daughter lies back once more by her lord’s side
And sleeps awhile, like the rib unawakened from the first man.


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