||Autumn harvest all cleared now from the fields.
Ground bare with just the old oat stalks
standing in straight rows
short and spiky.
Trees bare, even the last leaves
that clung to twigs, stripped,
windswept into piles in remote corners
where blackbirds toss them aside
to find the creepy crawlies underneath.
Winter has done its work, well!
On the surface, everything dead.
Even the last withered vegetation
nibbled by rabbits, chewed by deer,
pecked by pheasants.
And the freezing air, uninviting.
We close ourselves inside, wrapped up.
Is this the end?
Will anything call us out?
Is anything big, strong and mighty enough
to break through the rock hard earth?
What growing thing has the courage to send shoots
from the deep dark soil,
where spade cannot yet penetrate the concrete surface?
What is this, greening the sheltered places
between the huge bare trees?
Fragile and green and white.
Neck so slender, head slim and pointing upwards,
Not one, a clump, lots of clumps, a carpet
Not snow, but in and through the snow they come,
in their own time,
these most delicate heralds of Spring,
Margaret Ann Minards, HHS