And she brought me Snowdrops

And she brought me Snowdrops

And she brought me snowdrops Christine Miller

And she brought me Snowdrops…

Sharp strands slicing,
Stinging swallows:
Tiny throat cut,
No mercy.

Crisp cold whiteness
Thin flat sheets
Hard steel
Metal, framed.

Voice silenced;
No sound emits.
No signal –
No response.

The vast space
Echoes briskly
Attendants bustle
No relief.

Trickle of tears,
Lonely tracks
Tracing patterns,
Still, alone.

Plucked from home,
Separated,
Before three springs,
Untimely rift.

Sudden sense,
Familiar tone,
Eternal smile,
Soft arms enfold.

And She, salvation,
Maternal, golden,
Of radiant warmth,
Brought me Snowdrops.

© Christine Miller

 

This poem arose from seeing a film on the BBC’s ‘The Great British Year’ of a February woodland garden in Gloucestershire, filled with snowdrops in bloom, their delicacy and beauty carpeting the ground with that fabulous first sign of winter’s end approaching.

Tears sprang to my eyes as I recalled with great clarity the time when I was about two and a half years old when I had my tonsils out. I still have strong memories of this. I can see clearly the area pre-theatre where gas cylinders and bottles of blood were stored, I feel the cold crisp linen of the hospital bed and the hard metal bars that kept me imprisoned there. I recall not being able to call out to the nurses for help. I remember the pain of my raw throat, and, acutely, the loneliness.

My beautiful Mother, Jane

In those distant days when I was little, parents weren’t allowed into hospital with their children, and visiting hours were very strictly enforced. I was desolate, in pain,  and afraid, and when my mother did arrive with a beautiful bunch of snowdrops, and a pretty little silver hair slide, which I treasured for years, I was filled with joy and relief. Thank goodness things have changed now and children are not separated from their parents in this way – we have learned a lot about that need for love, connection and contact.

The image of those snowdrops is still fresh in my mind, all these years later, and as I watched the scene in the film, these words, ‘And she brought me snowdrops’, erupted superbly into my consciousness and demanded to be expanded, expressed and offered as a token of gratitude and Love to my dearly departed mother, whose healing, radiant presence is still with me every day.

I dedicate this to all poets, everyone, everywhere, may your creativity flow with abundance.

 

© Christine Miller – first published for National Poet’s Day 2013

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