Out past the grass of the east lawn,
beyond the line of hardwoods along the fencerow,
across the ditch of vines and ivy,
a vacant patch of dirt lies beneath the snow.
I know its folds hold their hardened shape
beneath the covering white,
held, frozen and unyielding to the forming
of late fall furrowing.
Eventually, bright sun and a slight warming
will eat away the white;
gradually, the blotches of soil will show
in a slow thawing of the surface.
Some of the melting will soak into the fringes
of unfrozen dirt;
some of it will spill away,
repelled by the glaze of ice and freeze.
Until these hearts of ours
are set free from fear of pain,
we will gain nothing
of all the grace and goodness that comes our way.
May gentle hands
and sincere hearts
bring a soothing softening
to our souls.