From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood
When the hand of winter gives up its grip to the sun
And the river’s hard ice becomes the tongue to spring
I must go into the earth itself
To know the source from which I came.
Where there is a history of leaves
I lie face down upon the land.
I smell the rich wet earth
Trembling to allow the birth
Of what is innocent and green.
My fingers touch the yielding earth
Knowing that it contains
All previous births and deaths.
I listen to a cry of whispers
Concerning the awakening earth
In possession of itself.
With a branch between my teeth
I feel the growth of trees
Flowing with life born of ancient death.
I cover myself with earth
So that I may know while still alive
How sweet is the season of my time.