Tuesday 5 November 2013

1 Poem by Joe Benevento

After We Noticed the Little Redbud Tree

and its pinkish-purple response to April, catching
whatever sun it could, wedged as it was
between our shed and some adult oaks,
we recognized it as the natural
result of our having spread seeds

from its mother in the middle
of our yard, whose bean-like pods
we’ve plucked yearly, with each of our
four children, to scratch free the waxy green
seeds (which are pale white if plucked too soon,

mahogany when left alone longer) and place
them anywhere we thought they might sprout
without getting annihilated by a lawn mower.  Each child
has cherished this simple effort to spread some new life
into the world, each gotten old enough to want to pluck down

the lower pods herself or himself, free the seeds
and send them somewhere possible.  Sometimes
three or four of us have been outside at once,
wondering if there was really a chance,
so now we are thankfully uncertain which one

was responsible for the little tree
we know will soon enough unlock its heart-
shaped leaves, tolerating some shade
to inhabit this unlikely corner
for its living as certain sign

of growing, advancing Spring.

Joe Benevento teaches creative writing and American literature at Truman State, where he is poetry editor of GHLL.  He has had poems, stories and essays in about 250 places, including: Poets & Writers and Bilingual Review.  His most recent of eight books of poetry and fiction is the poetry chapbook, "Tough Guys Don't Write," with Finishing Line Press.

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