Dogwood in April

I could count each pale disk
if I wanted, open faced
and unabashedly
defying the creeping dusk

which relentlessly renders
indistinguishable one
branch from another leaf,
blending all into a black

mass of slumbering growth.
For awhile they hang, petal
by petal, an earthbound spangle
of milky way in my yard,

the last to cling to light,
the last to look for the moon’s
reflection, that the night
might not swallow them whole.

The forecast is for rain.


  1. Sometimes I keep a positive attitude, a hopeful perspective, for a long time. After all, it might work out in the long run, I think; have faith. Then the blunt statement comes, such as “this is terminal.” And then there is sudden pause before a shift and surrender happens, a surrender into what I was fighting to avoid. That’s what the dogwood and dusk reminded me of…that moment of shift after the hard truth.

  2. Hi Elaine

    I found your blog from a link from Kelvin’s. Love to read about your thoughts and musings on life as a Christian… I shall be back to read more, for sure!

    Thanks for sharing

    Helen (another Dent from across the Earth!)

  3. Thank you, Helen. What a delight to meet friends from around the world. What I like best is the richer conversation because it can include Christians in different places, traditions, environments. Looking forward to more conversation.

    And the name Dent is not too common around here. People are always asking me to “spell it, please.” :-/

  4. Simply gorgeous piece, Elaine. Music. Do you mind if I print it and use it with my students?

    I read your first comment and it makes me wonder though I don’t want to pry.


  5. Mich, the week before I wrote this (or it wrote itself), a person in our congregation had been diagnosed with acute leukemia. The doctors said he would probably have the summer. He and his wife and I had a good conversation about how he and his wife were going to spend the gift of time they had. A week later he was dead. What we had hoped for together didn’t happen, and we are left learning to surrender to what is, not experiencing what we wished.

    We know he is held in Christ’s presence. Still, the moment when his wife had to tell him it was ok to let go was a shift and surrender to the forecast. I think that is why the poem bubbled up.

    But that shift and surrender to what is and accepting what we had not hoped for happens often, sometimes in much less dramatic ways.

  6. And yes, you are welcome to use it; just cite the source.

  7. Thank you about the poem and I surely will cite.

    How sad about your friends. Wow, we just never know, do we?