Not even Judas

Hidden on the mountainsides of Appalachia

lives beneath majestic canopies

a tree they call the Judas tree.

Its purple buds begin the spring

break through the bark betrayed by winter’s silver hands.

And as the sun burns higher in the sky

the leaves

turned green

turned red

like hearts

begin to tremble, shake, and beat.

Humbled underneath the shade of oak and ash it greets

the seal of Solomon

the trillium

the ginseng with its fabled powers.

Beside it bows the dogwood

bright bracts cut short by blood-brown marks,

its body twisted with a gnarled grace.

The redbud

legacy of our betrayal

brings forth the rosy lips of spring.

The dogwood

emblem of God’s suffering

whispers in the wakening gloom

not even Judas lies beyond the love of God.

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1 Response to Not even Judas

  1. Brad Hirst says:

    Good morning Bill.
    Always good to hear from you whether in poetry or prose. We love the Redbuds! When we lived in Virginia the hills would glow purple for those two weeks in the spring. Thanks for helping me remember.
    Best to Sylvia.
    Brad

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