Snowdrops began to flower earlier than usual this year. When days are short and nights long, how comforting it is to see the year’s first flowers appear.
A miniature arrow fired to the sun,
This tight white bud is no wax vanity,
Nor will it melt like frost.
The innocent flower inches up.
Milk-tipped, it drives between
Defeated grass darts (blades all
Blunted on the trodden soil
By blind & plodding footfall)
Then turns a corner, silent bell-head
Hanging in the ringing cold.
Opening now to January’s stark blue light
(Frail feather down, pale dove wings
Over cloudy olive waters)
This snowdrop floats amid
The hostile dreariness, the downright
Winter weariness of yet another
Alien new year’s landscape:
A little ark of hope.
© Lizzie Ballagher