Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass,
What we below could not see. Winter pass.
The thick crust of ice on a water trough is melting. The pipes are thawing too, so I no longer have to push wheelbarrow loads of water containers across frozen fields.
The field of long grass is melting first. Water slips under the gate and follows age-old channels down the slope. A pond forms and spreads over sheet ice, before it too melts and drains away through ditch and lane to the bottom of our hill.
Lawn grass shows again, between patches of melting snow where bird footprints mark the hungry searches of blackbirds and thrushes as they try to pierce the hard earth in search of food.
A splash of bright, frost-wilted spinach is all that remains of last years harvest.