Ode to the Eastern Redbud

beautiful redbud in the park
Colonizer of borderlands,
quiet claimer of spaces between,
you are neither yin nor yang,

but pink-smeared edge 
of our gray-brown wood,
that space where fire coals

brood themselves into burst
of flame. In late winter
of our discontent, you bridge

our leap into spring, bleed
wild and brief, as Icarus
flew fierce and free

before his final plunge.
O flash of rebirth, you
leave us sober hope, signal

that nothing persists,
not even despair,
not even its sweet release.

Jane Sasser

Jane Sasser was born and raised on a farm in North Carolina. She grew up in a family of storytellers and began writing her own stories at the age of six. Her poetry has appeared in JAMA, North American Review, The Sun, and other publications. She has published three poetry chapbooks: What’s Underneath (Iris Press, 2020), Itinerant (Finishing Line, 2009), and Recollecting the Snow (March Street Press, 2008). Following a career as an English teacher in Tennessee, she retired to Fairview, NC, with her husband and retired greyhounds.