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  • Desola Olaleye

Clash of Seasons

Primrose Hill, Frank Auerbach, 1967-8

I am no stranger to the English winter and its frigid gusts. For decades I have endured the dark days of this season.

Still, I yearn each year for its toppling by the tiny soldiers of spring. The bullish rays. The flowering trees. Enlivened birdsong.

This year, spring teases us with a haphazard appearance. Across the city, the faint warbles of birds are out of sync. Trees remain undraped. Frustration blooms amid slowly budding florets.

Outside the train station, I am queried by a man in search of a quid for a McDonald’s. He too is frustrated by the delay of spring, by lagging respite from a biting season that just won’t end.

Spring renews hope. Hope that something better is on the way.

But crumbs of hope are slipping through enfeebled grasps.

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