One Long Winter

The roots clutch, talon-like, the frigid soil.
What stalks, what leaves may follow these to show
The wages of the seed's long, secret toil?
What destinies lie trapped in seas of snow?
I am my name-sake, "husband of the earth".
What I have sown, with loving pride I favor:
My self. And what I hold in pain of dearth
I hope to win by right of steadfast labor.
I feel the earth, yet heavy with the pressing
Of ice upon its breast, the winter's night
Of life concealed in glistening shrouds of death,
And like that earth, I wait for spring's redressing,
To see my longings flourish in the light,
To know the good of every vanished breath.

George Chadderdon © 1996