-how to describe a redbud?-

I’m sure that I grew up around redbud trees, but they never made an impression on me until I moved to Kentucky and was surrounded by their beauty every spring. The older I get, the more I dislike winter; it’s colorless, bleak and cold. And every spring, when the color starts to come onto the redbud branches, these are the words that come to mind, “We have not been abandoned.” The world continues to turn, the seasons still change, new life still comes – soon we’ll be surrounded again by green. Life is good. And I wrote an ode to a tree. Yay me.

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.

april 2009


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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3 Responses to -how to describe a redbud?-

  1. mennodave says:

    OK, I already have this one.

    Winter: I enjoy seeing the shapes and stuctures of leafless trees, and being able to see through a woods because all the scrub brush is also leafless.

    I can’t remember you in a red dress. If you don’t have one, you should get one. Then if you came to a field of clover, Roger could take a picture to go with this peom.


    • ten4ruthie says:

      I enjoy the leafless tree season too. I like driving down the road and seeing the rock formations and old abandoned cars that the trees cover up all summer long. Well, there’s only one old school bus and one old car that I like looking at. The rocks are definitely more of a treat. 🙂 Maybe if I ever have a red dress, I’ll do that. I don’t know. It would be like making a movie of a book. Real pictures never seem to match the pictures in my head.


  2. mennodave says:



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