I wrote this last year about this time, and now the redbuds are painting the hills again. It’s my favorite time of year – I love the warm days in between the little spring winters. Redbud winter, dogwood winter, blackberry winter. I don’t remember the rest of them; redbud and dogwood are the only ones I really notice.  Anyway. You can’t write a poem to a redbud tree every year, so here’s my one and only.

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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