This is not the time for frost,
When Winter’s hard-edged shadow
Should have passed beyond the sun
And, this side of the solstice,
Fragrant Spring should walk the land
While laughing blackbirds pierce the air
With pure and exuberant joy.
Instead, long spears of ice, with perfect aim,
Have stabbed them to the very soul.
In verges, daffodils hang down their heads
And, like me, long for life-affirming days
Of subtle sun and breeze-blown air
That will send me scurrying to the hills
With light and careless tread,
Happy as the towering lark
To be, at last, away from winter woes
And for the lifetime of a day
Feel again the freedom of the sky.
Last night, hares still danced in moonlight,
Cold-footed in the sparkling fields,
Unsure when, if ever, the true purpose
Of the tardy year would begin.
Now, shrill, complaining yellowhammers
Take up the disconcerting call
And the once-cheerful chaffinch
With only cold despondency creates
Its early morning song.