The Hawthorn Tree

The hawthorn is in blossom —

Sole vestige of the first planting.

At first, its existence

Didn’t impress —

Cowering alone without its sister,

It was unremarkable, but for

The small white flowers in May

And the almost invisible

Green berries of summer.

Now, though, it has

Grown in our grasp.

The flowers are bountiful —

The limbs finally traversing their

Way outward into

A lovely-shaped configuration,

And the berries turning red

In the winter.

Its petals contradict

The brilliant reds of the maples,

The pink flowers at its base,

And the rust-colored coral bells

Which adorn the oh-so

Green grass of spring.

Were the Celts right?

Does the tree offer

Love and protection?

At this moment, the flowers

Silently whisper, “Yes.”



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Joanne Zarrillo Cherefko

Award-winning educator and published poet: A Consecration of the Wind, Fragmented Roots, and Souls Tilled Like Soil. Website: