A poem I wrote in January, nearing the end of its revision process . . .
On a morning of hard and brittle brightness,
with a chill to the air that waters the eyes,
I venture forth as I must
to check the greenhouse heater,
when my eyes are caught by a new white,
cleaner than the silvery rime,
half concealed under a leafless shrub.
And yes: the green-fringed steel helmets
of our first flowering snowdrops
have somehow broken through
the tumbled frosted leaves left there from autumn.
We are here, they say, we are here,
shining their defiance to the cold crystal sun.
It is a matter of some astonishment;
to be honest, I had forgotten the bulbs were there.
We are weeks away, really, from spring,
but here is an early wisp of its resurrection breath.
Everything else is still playing dead,
but this gentle plant chooses to bloom regardless,
green and white, white and green:
sweet as a drift of snowflakes,
and yet hard as a bag of nails.