Not Yet Maytime

 
It was not blossom but snow that fell
just as the hawthorns were full of fresh lettuce
tender as the leaves on her plate, when we found her
relaxed and chatting in the salad bar
(“well why not”, she laughed, “a girl needs a bit
of me-time, doesn’t she”).

It was not blossom but snow that fell.
It was the loveliest thing, those forlorn flowers
the magenta, the yellow, wreathed in and out
by those unlikely other petals linked so thick
in one another, brooms and young larches were
bent to the ground.

“Unlikely? Incomprehensible!” we exclaimed.
But she, drawling “plenty of time yet!”
smiled in the well-heated bar. “You are the one”
we challenged, “we have that right, the keeper
of the four treasures, do you even have them?”
“There’s a key,” she said

As outside the snow kept falling,
formless now, “somewhere in my stuff – look
it’s here in my bag – or maybe not”
distractedly lighting a cigarette as she went on
hunting without success. “Oh really, it doesn’t
matter,” we assured her;

We went outside and left her to it
(it looked as though she’d never notice).
What now? What now? without those treasures
there could be no hope of a new beginning,
springtime would stop.

But the snow kept falling and somebody laughed;
“it was too mild a winter anyway”, he said;
“snow is a gift we need to be blessed with
at least once a year; without it
how can the water melt and run?
Come out, we’ll find

Those treasures, sure as eggs
hidden in a blackbird nest under a cap of snow.”
And so it was – not that there could be
a respite, not with his voice now fissuring the air
“you can’t rest on any success along the way
neither great nor small”.

It was not blossom but snow that fell.
And that is the story of the last spring
we ever spent together, just that core
of us, where our characters were formed;
there would be sometimes more and sometimes less
but never the round sum;

And the four treasures, those glittering entities
we were never quite convinced of
they lay in their hiding-place for years to come
perhaps hatching or just as likely stagnant
but that’s not the point: we learned that year
to take the blossom

As snow, the snow as blossom.

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