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.

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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