I wake in winter ten till four,
Ascend the stairs to start the fire,
Subdue a spark of hope for more
Than cold endured, a hand for hire.
I need a shock, no hint will do.
If feet could speak, with sound reprised
They’d shirk in word my fears anew—
They live like deer, and die surprised.
Afraid of death, from life estranged,
In flight from fact, left meek and mild,
The ox which once grew strong and ranged
Amid the wild goes cowed, beguiled.
The pleas for peace are made in war
Which none will win; to win’s to die
And live with loss across the door
Where one is true and pairs the lie.
I wake in winter ten till five,
Descend the stairs to light the fire:
The twigs ignite, the flame survives,
Returns to fan the heart’s desire.