A poem about The Snowdrop Campaign which was launched
after the Dunblane Shootings in 1996. Sophie was one of the
victims. A snowdrop was named after her and the group
campaigned to have private ownership of hand guns banned.
March in Perthshire and The White Witch still ruled.
Pure snowdrops had just emerged in gardens
and gardeners bent low, to hear them say,
We’re harbingers: Spring is on its way.
And so it was in the town of Dunblane,
when Dr Stevens lifted up white heads
that hung down, she saw a new creation,
but The Prince of Glory did not come in.
The gates were unlocked; the infants at school
and, in three minutes, sixteen were mown down
and Sophie North dragged to Pluto’s world.
Would a thaw come to this sad, frozen town?
A bitter smell tinctured its empty streets:
a sharp cordite/ galanthus suffusion.
The cultivar was given that child’s name,
yet people swore that Spring would never come,
but caritas, like a papery corm,
did take root and broke through iron soil.
Inside frail petals, some perceived a cross;
slowly hope spread, like seeds by unseen ants.
And Sophie’s father tucked her in once more,
under a white duvet. Hybrid vigour
brought renewal; many were moved to say:
the gods are deathless; all is in their power.
The precious seed that fell into the ground
fertilised the Earth; something new was born:
Galanthamine, to heal all tortured minds.
A girl named Wisdom, mild as the milkflower,
stands before those who’d bear arms and pleads so
all children can walk on carpets of stars.