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A Snow Goose Cherry Tree: Poem #6


The snow goose cherry tree must have greeted my muse. I couldn’t stop thinking about how stunningly elegant it looked with white blossoms blanketed over its branches. Even though I wove in the topic of my illness into the poem, a topic that is serious to me, I wrote the verses with playfulness and joy. Connecting with this strangely named tree felt like taking a healing potion. I insist on having fun while connecting with the verses.

A Snow Goose Cherry Tree Blooms in Winter. ©Lu Sobredo 2020


A snow goose cherry tree touches the heart
Like a lost melody from long ago
Left unsung; longing, yearning to come out.
It seems far-fetched to think
There just might be a link
To winter, the tree and what ails me.

A brisk morning air this winter,
I often encounter soon after
Opening the door, on days I headed over
To a nearby neighborhood pool.

The somber winter and
Pain afflicted frame commingle
Like a cross between tragedy
And melodrama, I kid you not.
So tempting, many a times and oft,
To give in, give up and
Simply stay cocooned in bed to rest
This cold-averse body
Kept company by its wearied soul.

A life-changing condition confirmed  
Many seasons before in mid-summer heat
Like flashes of lightning, it just would not quit.
How could the body’s once healthy      
Immune system so divinely designed
Create havoc? Havoc on itself.

This autoimmune deficiency
Will forever be a reality. The body feels
Naked in winter though fully clothed;
A vulnerability I so loathe. If truth be told,
I long for the vigor of youth,
And yet made peace
With a life at the edge of winter.
Any appearance of spring, I expect to likely
Yield a much different bloom.  

Fighting off bleakness
Is a mental game I’ve played.
I’ve played well and hard. I’ve paid the price
These seven long years
When robbed of normalcy.
Still paying the price
Out of necessity, out of love.
Out of love for a life still filled with so much.
So, I fight. I trudge over bleakness because I must.

Going to the neighborhood pool
Gives respite to bones and joints
In throbbing pain.
Rewarded along the way
When greeted by a snow goose cherry.
This tree, with its coppery-red peeling bark
And scrawny, twisted branches.
Bare and exposed in winter; it calls out to me.
As if to say, I know how it must feel.

Why this tree goes by the name
Of snow goose cherry is not clear at all.
It bears no resemblance to a goose.
It bears no recognizable fruit.
It stands in the land
Where snow doesn’t fall.
A riddle of sorts, an intriguing diversion.

The lonely looking tree mysteriously named
With a not-so-impressive bearing,
Is mostly ignored in the cold.
Except today
When the snow goose cherry,
As if overnight transformed, 
Is now fully in bloom after a long, hard winter.

What a sight to behold!
A regal canopy of white delicate flowers
Astonishes in the edge of winter
At the brink of spring.

I lingered as if in a trance,
Awed by such transformation.
A mild chill of morning air and
A blossoming snow goose cherry tree
Colluded no less
To enkindle bliss like no other.
Pain momentarily subsumed
As there seems to be
This mysterious link that binds
Winter, the tree and what ails me.

Poem & Photo ©Lu Sobredo


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