St Brigid’s Day, Woodside Road
For Fiona Curran
It’s just as well we didn’t bet our souls on it.
This first day of pagan spring dawns white,
the two-day fall blanking out pavements,
children making hay of it with snowballs.
One attempts, Sisyphus-style, to roll a boulder heavier
than his bodyweight up the embankment.
Mothers in tracksuits supervise from front-doors,
fathers, scrapers in hand, track warily round cars.
Sane people stay indoors, waiting for the equinox
and the met office to make it official.
But I brave the frost, looking for some augury or other,
find it in a melted six inch square in Vi’s planter.
I hunker down for a closer look, then bow before
green shoots tangled in a perfect plaited cross.
(from Her Father’s Daughter, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry, 2014)