Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WAITING IN WINTER (1), by STANLEY BURNSHAW

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

WAITING IN WINTER (1), by            
First Line: They were tired, tired, and outside
Last Line: And earth and heaven looked harsh. . . .
Subject(s): Death; Earth; Heaven; Sleep; Dead, The; World; Paradise

They were tired, tired; and outside
The wind was cracking boughs and breaking leaves
With drops of freezing water. . . . Once they heard
A whistle leap and groan against the night
Like a dying bird.

They were sick of winters; but they tried
To ponder thru the window at the snow; --
Too tired, tired for soft tears to flow
Upon their faces like the touch of rain;
And in their bodies gnawed the old, limp pain
Of those who live too long on love.

They were so chill, they slipt their scraggly arms
About each other's breasts. . . .
Sleep always still,
They whispered,
Maybe Heaven would hear them then --
These two still walkers, tired, old, and bled. . . .

Sleep came to them like evening to young-love;
Sleep, then soft Death, who brushed their eyes with dreams
Of wind that walked like shadows over streams
Where he -- a cedar -- leaned to touch the moon,
And she -- a young birch -- whispered in the hills. . . .

They were tired, tired of the sun,
And earth and heaven looked harsh. . . .

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