Cicely Mary Barker
On St Brigid’s Day (the saint of poets),
in the middle of a blackthorn winter
on a Sun Day, unannounced, unexpected,
uninvited and long given up on,
a trace of sun and golden light crept in
which lifted the moods of both mice and men
but sadly did not linger very long.
By nightfall their hopes were taken hostage
by the chill of an icy Imbolc Moon.
On Candlemas, it is still grey and cold
(which must foretell of warmer days to come?)
I call a friend across the mountains who,
she says, to dispel her blues, counts snowdrops,
(a stroke of brilliance on her part, truly
in keeping with my heart). I covet her
idea, vow to steal it away and keep
a tally of such treasures in my soul.
On St Valentine’s Day (the saint of love)
I creep outside to count my snowdrops and
find undiscovered blooms hiding beneath
the rowan and the ash, jewels in newly
minted groups, shining like precious pearls.
I choose to pick only solitary
specimens, just the the ones who stand alone,
virginal, fragile, as yet unnoticed,
they call out to me and seem to yearn to
be with their kind, up close amongst the rest.