The white queen presses blithely
through the snow, heedless of lingering
frost and chill, lush white petals draped
gently, a cloak trailing ‘round

her slim green stem.

Double-petalled Flore Pleno dances
with cousin Nivalis, slender and sturdy.
They call the others over – Arnott thick
and honey-scented. Wendy’s Gold brings
butter yellow to the dance; robust Magnet
pushes through thick grass, undaunted. Rare
virescents are tipped and traced with green,

enough to drown galanthophiles in dreams.

Slowly they spread, year by year, ‘til
a carpet of white spreads glorious beneath
sheltering trees. Candlemas bells, fair maids,
Mary’s taper, Eve’s tear – the snowdrops
do not care what humans name them,
en masse, or singularly. They reach together

for the sun, ringing out the joyous song:

– winter is ending,

spring is almost here –