how to describe a redbud?

posed beside a white dogwood,
you become fairyland
if i stand still and watch long enough,
i’ll see you
lift satin-shod toes and dance
an airy bit of Swan Lake.
–but only in some obscure ratio of sunlight and shadow…
outside of that moment, waiting is useless.

blooming out in a Bohemian frenzy of color
putting to shame the pink dogwood
(unnatural, unfriendly pink. like someone
tried to transport Japan
but squished it into
English manor subservience.
…so mild-mannered.)
paired with a pale weeping willow,
you are the dress that my
little hippie self wants to wear
dancing through clover

(my favorite)
-and it’s kind of a ragamuffin look-
resting quietly beside a dark evergreen
your branches standing out black in the sunshine
and blacker in the rain
not quite blending in,
or begging for attention… merely

you are
of the reasons.
i never want to leave kentucky.


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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4 Responses to how to describe a redbud?

  1. sarah says:

    i love redbuds! i know spring is on the immediate way when i start to see them. it’s the one plant that i can identify :o)

    again, you have pleased my eyes with this. your poem about dandelions is my favorite that i’ve read of yours, but this one may top it after a few reads.


  2. Ken says:

    You do know we have plenty of redbuds in North Carolina too, don’t you?
    Don’t forget where home is.
    Uncle Ken


  3. emily says:

    I really wish you’d post again, ruthie. . . 🙂


  4. Papaw says:

    We came to Kentucky one time when the redbuds were blooming. You are right. There is really something special about the redbuds in Kentucky. I think that was one of the most beautiful trips I ever remember taking to Kentucky. I know we have redbuds in NC but I don’t remember seeing their beauty displayed like I saw there.


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