Poetry – Swallows Return

o spring thaw out my winter’s chill
so cold I might be buried still
beneath the snow

long years I lay as one whose night
strong arms had banished from the light
to mute my song

now wake me from oblivion
bow down and lift me to the sun
like earth to plow

prepare for me some green retreat
enough for summer to complete
its ecstasy

let autumn shake its leaves at me
set laughter whirling from each tree
and I forget

then should my winter come at last
when darkened shadows overcast
the fields of men

I’ll gladly say goodbye and go
while memories warm me with their glow
across the stile

for every year my dust shall rise
o’er mud and rust to welcome skies
where swallows soar

— Elizabeth Bartlet

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