The leaves take up their spadework in the dead of the year, subsisting like cottagers on their flitch of bacon on the sugars stored in the long fingers of the roots, the figs they don’t give for frost. They farm the first sunlight, gathering enough from the darker bands in the spectrum, the red and the blue, to forge their own sunrise, those blades of gold Wordsworth imagined firing a workman worthy to be sainted, the first to set the sign-board in a blaze. Canny blades, though, that fold over the flowerhead in wind and rain, one with the labourer huddled under his coat, the bee’s first nectar as precious as body heat, all the generations of survival as our face of the earth finally turns towards the sun.
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