Dogwood Winter

Between you and me,
(and the blooms
and the trees,)

even the breeze
who incessantly sweet-talks the rose
knows she was born thorned
for good reason.

I admire your resistance,
your unwillingness to give in
to overwinter,

how you take truthful root
in the loam, deep-weave
beneath the earth’s surface,

how you flush with heat-blossoms
out-of-season, a profusion of flowering,
a beautiful refusal,

how you face off
with cold snap,
spray unending petals
from calyx
in blatant rebellion.

Consider Jacob,
who knows enough
to be terrified
at the sight of all those angels,

knows it means
there is need
for guarding.


Photo: “Dogwoods on Ice” by Nelson Shogren