Late spring. Redbuds dot
Kentucky hillsides as strong
winds whip up quick
storms through the greening
valley. When their pale
magenta blossoms open—just for two
maybe three weeks—it’s like the part
of the fireworks show where you stop
speechless except for a long
ahhhh. June now,

the fence lizards are sunbathing
on jagged rocks, the sweet pinks
are gone from the hills, although lush
layers of green roll over
the landscape in manifold
shades and textures. All year
I long for the return
of the redbuds, their pastel
kisses signaling the end
of black ice and thick

socks. Summer with its shuffling
turtles and irritable brown
wasps will keep flaring
until September. Meanwhile,
I can’t let go of the peaceable
spring redbud. Its delicacy haunts
me and like a favorite
aunt who comes to stay
once a year, entrusts
me with its brief, rare calyx.