In fair, bright light I trace Our Lady’s steps to church, for purification
with my swaddled son. Deemed unfit to be blessed with his milk-blue skin.
Girls in white dresses lead the candlelit procession,
scatter snowdrops between breath-plumed aisles.
‘Devil’s flower’, my mother whispers, ‘turns cow’s milk watery and clouds butter’.
I crush their petalled shrouds, like melting tears into spring.
Sun gleams through a red-stained window where Our Virgin hangs, entranced.
‘Silent Night’ echoes now mine are broken.
We have no bread at home and little milk
but here are candles for blessing and snowdrops for hope.
A cupped bloom, tipped light green, touches my son,
its hanging head’s perfume not as sweet as his nape.
Here I kneel, unrepentant, belly empty.
Man's long gone but birds all singing and snowdrops stirred.