Blizzard tree


(A Holiday Carol)

Oh what are these sounds I hear in the sky,

The cold wind screams and deadening cry

Of the songs birds sing when abandoned to die?

Oh what are these sounds I hear in the sky

When summer’s buried under glaciers of ice

And solstice stars, distant and dim,

Are so lost in blank seas of endless black space

The New Year’s epiphany can’t hear its own hymn?

The blitz has buried rows of corn on the plain

Ranged in white lines there like armies of night.

Out there the cold shivers like bones going insane

For a hint in the sky of redeeming warm light.

So what is that tree doing naked in sky

With limbs reaching out to winds going wild?

Is she the mother who never asks why

She’s there to give life to a new baby child?

When the child was born was the mother unleaved,

Stripped naked and bare by the cold winter storm

That fired her courage when she heard a small cry

At the approach of any shrill noise in the sky?

What hymns does the hearth fire breathe in the air

To the mother cradling her new baby’s sigh?

How can bare arms enfold enough care

To warm the life she holds in trust there

Inside walls made from well-seasoned trees

With memorized music toned in their woods,

The lullabies there composed by summer and spring

Accompanied by wild chords the winter winds bring.

Oh, who is in that tree hanging in sky

With naked limbs reaching out to a child

To shield it from winds going wild

With love in winter that will not say die?

As blizzards whistle through cracks in our homes

Where we huddle to watch the warmth taking wing

Let’s gather tonight for the hymns woodfires sing

To honor the love in good women’s wombs.

Emilio Degrazia


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