The Judas Tree

Through the window, I peek and pretend
dangling snowflakes are Dogwood petals
from the sturdy tree in my old front yard,
drifting to rest peacefully in an empty bed.

But instead, I find hard-headed hail
landing, white ants sprawling everywhere
in a shameful winter temper tantrum.
Widowed clouds pass, hanging their heads.

Alas, I cover my mouth in regret to see
the petals of the Red Bud tree turning
the white concrete to raspberry sherbet.
Spring hung itself here below the Judas tree.

The bleeding mauve blossoms crucified,
dangling limbs slumped over in defeat.
The broken-hearted leaves lie defiled,
scattered on a fresh grave of mourning mulch.

NaPoWrimo 2021 Day Six. Today’s prompt appealed to my literary mind. We were tasked to go to a book you love and find a short line that strikes you. Make the line the title of your poem. Write the poem. Then after you’ve finished, change the title completely.

It was snowing here in Munich today, petals falling and some blooming plants at risk of an early death. The weather reminded me of a line from a recently read favorite, Slaughter-House-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. “Now, they were dying in the snow, feeling nothing, turning the snow to raspberry sherbet.”


  1. I know somebody who works ay a garden centre here. They receive a double bonus each year – people go out and very keenly buy bedding plants at Easter. However the frosts are not yet over, and the plants die. Those same people are back at the garden centre during the Mayday holiday (the UK has a bank holiday, the first Monday in May),

    A double payout!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. love this poem so much; ‘temper tantrums’, ‘raspberry sherbet’, mourning mulch … you’ve really nailed this one — and i respect that you acknowledged Kurt Vonnegut as ‘Worms’ acknowledged Hemingway 🙂 this is going RIGHT NOW into my commonplace book !!

    Liked by 1 person

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