Night and day are equal
On this first of two equinoxes
And as my people march my effigy
To the river, they look forward
To warmer days, to planting
Crops and enjoying fresh fruit
Smelling again the scent
Of flowers and grass and
All living things

Some think I am only the
Lady of Death but they
Do not see past the obvious
Yes, my people are tired
Of winter, of the cold of
Snow and eating things put
Up during warmer times
But winter is not death
Winter is rest, a moment
To close their eyes and
Sleep while nights run long
And the moon laughs at the sun

I allow them to set me
On fire and drown me
Do you really think I could
Be vanquished so easily otherwise
Or that winter is my only
Time to wax and reign?
I am the Goddess of All Things
Submerge me and I dive deep
To where the mysteries
Are found — I renew my bonds
With what lies below
And with the water
For none of my crops will
Thrive without it

The renewal benefits us
All, even if some think it
Just a time to make merry
My faithful understand and
As they dance away from
The river, I rise to the
Surface rejuvenated
Water curling around me
Like a lover, generous
And gentle and I float
As flickering torches recede
And imagine all that
Will be and all that ever was

[Gerri Leen is a Rhysling-nominated poet from Northern Virginia. She has poetry published in: Eye to the Telescope, Star*Line, Dreams & Nightmares, Songs of Eretz, Polu Texni,, and others. She also writes fiction in many genres (as Gerri Leen for speculative and mainstream, and Kim Strattford for romance). Visit or to see what else she’s been up to.]