This morning I sat on my garden bench. For a short time the sun came from behind a dark cloud and I felt its warmth. My eyes were caught by a rank of snowdrops, brave insurgents striving to break winter’s pincer grip. Daffodils nodded agreement in the sharp wind. A robin burst out with his tic tic tic tst. This could be spring, I thought. And so to:
Snowdrops peek first over the parapet
Scouts for an army hidden in the trenches,
Pathfinders, first footers, feeling out the terrain,
To confirm conditions before signalling the advance.
Spear tips appear, white pennants of the advancing host,
The initial task force, the vanguard visiting every nook
For a foothold, a foxhole of security between the trees,
For crocuses fearful of frost the deadly foe.
Aconites, yellow berets already over the top,
The shock troops of the occupying forces fill pockets
Of resisting soil and open opportunities for the rear guard
Of daffodils to trumpet the taking of the salient.
Now is the time for posses of primroses, ranks of tall tulips
Hyacinths, narcissus brazen in their colours,
Free from frost if fortune so favours, to celebrate
That for six sweet months the war with winter is over.
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