To Snowdrops Flowering Early

Snowdrop with large green heart

(a gardener’s poem)

Bending, I watch you dance
Twist in the wind
Anchored by slender stems;
Barometers of spring blooming early,
Wearing hearts on your petals.

Things that harm us may seem sweet
But you’re not here to harm;
Any fool can see that. 

It’s warm, so you’re flowering.
No malice in you – and not
Our usual portent of doom.

A pity for you that your future is so
Wrapped up in ours.

Snowdrops at Ness Botanic Gardens

We’re advised to divide you for vigour;
So we get the more we’re genetically, culturally,
Programmed to seek.

Nature programmed you to cluster together.
We interject: disrupt, tend, split, move,
Doing nature’s work as if nature
Somehow got it wrong.
A mercy you don’t care whether you live or die.
(You don’t, do you?)

Galanthophiles say you’re happier that way,
And, by going forth, will multiply.

Is it just that you long to be in an overcrowded home again
Where roots touch roots as they expeditiously explore
Shallow beds?

Sensitive roots creeping out
And down into dark soil together,
Searching out nourishment
To plump the bulb.

Double snowdrop

You flower, set seed, wither for a season,
Then are back, fatter than before.

Your rhythm does not seem like ours, yet we
Thrill to it.
Your rebirth, your new whiteness,
Activates our primitive need.

Your tenderness defies
The harshness winter has in store.
Snow and frost lay you low,
But you bounce back, heads lifted.

You seem eternal. Eternal spring in winter.
Imagine our world if next year there were
No snowdrops.
You just didn’t come.

In response to the Daily Prompt: Gone.

14 Replies to “To Snowdrops Flowering Early”

  1. Lovely, and beautiful photos. Funnily enough, venturing out into the cold and frosty morning today, I spied the first snowdrop in our lawn in bud. Yay!

  2. “To plump the bulb.” What a great phrase. I love its sound. I also love your first word, “bending.” Nearness is in the whole of this. And that last photo resounds with spring — I may have to look at that from time to time through the next couple months. Thank you!

    1. The first bit comes directly from a moment at Gresgarth Hall when I bent down to photograph some snowdrops then noticed how they were dancing in the wind. Capturing that was no easy feat with an iPhone but I somehow ended up with this instead.

      1. They sure do. When I lived in Alabama they bloomed in January & February. They are actually a bit late this year, especially for here in Florida. You just never know with Mother Nature.

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