Winter Lullaby


The ice is thick, but I hear him singing.
Itís snowing in my room, the lamp is going dim.
I see frozen fields in twilight bleeding,
White-backed cattle and nostrils dripping,
Tongues and eyes that are never still.

Beside a highway with empty signs,
He paints the powdered sky
With berried brambles at the frame.
Scratch, scratch, scratching at my window,
Theyíre trying to get in, white nights
And people kneeling, church bells ringing,
Their burdens etched upon the steps.

The ice is thick, but I hear him singing.
His voice meets me at the well,
Its rope is long, its bucket dripping,
A kingdom waiting down below.

The ice is thick, but I hear him singing.
My son meets me at the door,
Nods as though Iím dreaming,
Then bids a kind farewell.

December 13, 2005












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