Winters Promise of Spring

Having been born in the summer, I was never a winter person. However, we did enjoy our activities at this time of year. Barrow Green, with its many turnings and alleyways, was ideal for ambushes in our snowball fights, and when it froze, there were slides at the edge of the road. A practice not to be encouraged as one girl with a broken leg will testify.

Sometimes, after Christmas, when freezing temperatures prevailed and daylight extended until teatime, we would hurry home from school and make our way to the edge of the marsh, near the brickfield, to what we called the ‘Lily Pond’. Here we would skate (slide is maybe a better word) until dusk and then scamper home to eat our tea before a roaring fire.

At other times I retreated indoors with frozen fingers, and then when the life returned to them and the pain had gone I gazed out of the window to watch birds searching for food, to see them through the winter. I then thought of warmer days to come and with them the promise of Spring.

The winter’s cry of the gull
Rattles the skull
And fills your head like thunder
But in the spring
Robins will sing
And fill your heart with wonder.

When skies are grey
And there is no day
Starlings sit and ponder
But in the spring
When robins sing
Once again they start to plunder.

With snow on the ground
Sparrows hop around
Their crops are filled with hunger
But in the spring
When robins sing
They will tear your flowers asunder

From their windy perch Blue-tits search
Both on the bough and under
But in the spring
When robins sing
In a nest box they will slumber.

Blackbirds and thrashes
Scratch under the bushes
For food they dare not squander
But in the spring
They will also sing
And fill your heart with wonder.