Bundle up, son. In winters hard,
You can’t let the wind blow the warmth from your heart
A storm—this is not a storm; this descends
From heaven, it seems, and without end.
I touch for awhile that shaking limb
Too soft on the end; in the middle—too slim
My eyes not on yours, but the limbs that extend
To heaven, it seems, or without end.
Your work for awhile with stronger wood
To fell with an axe. So you stand. So it stood.
For what? and for why? Well, that depends
If it’s fire we need; in fire it ends.
Or look to the steps that lead to sleep
A mountain for me, for a boy but a leap
Before you were born, they’d started to bend
And soon they will break, so sooner we’ll mend.
And under the door comes rushing air
In summer a breeze; now a threat; so repair.
But none of these things overwhelm. I contend:
Don’t worry if it breaks. It all gets mended in the end.
Now look through the glass to Norman’s Hill
Though barren of fruit, a promise was made that this cold cannot kill
That one of these days, should God allow,
What’s there in the earth will blossom somehow.
This orchard, your mind, they need the freeze
To come to the spring with a strength and an ease.
What quickens my heart and waters my eyes is
Too soon will come life if the temperature rises
Goodbye and keep cold, I know what I said
Don’t mean to confuse, or to fill up your head
With too much supposed wisdom—only words
Distracting myself from something that hurts
So bundle up son, your heart, your mind
Be naked above, grab the wind from behind
Our life is on earth, to that we attend
But heaven, I hear, is without end
A storm this is not. This is how we ascend.
And heaven, I hear, is without end.