Absence of frost,
Winter a spent force,
Fat, furry catkins scramble over
the weeping willow,
as her branches toss to and fro
in peaty torrents of icy melt water.

The Snow Queen,
rushing through the woods
in stormy blizzards,
scatters snowdrops
where they lie, gleaming like
beneath the slumbering trees.

Jealously guarding
Her wintry beauty, She scorns
Princess Spring
and Her golden crocus,
laughing as Her frozen touch burns
newborn shoots.

But Spring is stubborn,
She sings with the mistle thrush,
and warms the blackbird's nest
with gentle sunshine
until Winter admits defeat,
and retreats to
Farthest North
where She weaves Her spells
of ice and snow
and cold, cold frosts.

©Doreen Hopwood, 26th February, 2003