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The northern year has rounded its dark cape
and pays out light in bonuses too mean for human eyes to note.
The sun has not been seen for days,
which pass us by without a recognising glance:
identical, anonymous.
There is no hope this side of Candlemas

except that snowdrops in the park are facts which work in these conditions.
It’s a month since they received earth’s first, faint, unmistakable instruction:
they must show themselves, resign themselves to soak, to freeze,
to sleep in snow, to break their necks on air, face ruin
weeks before the distant, gaudy date of spring’s inauguration.

Here are the results, and here, and here again:
the new year’s first accomplishment,
heads grouped and bowed and (not that it was asked for)
nodding their assent.