for the first day
of spring. Glimpses of
early redbud blossoms
hold the promise of rebirth.
That bare branches suddenly sprout
perfect crimson flowers is proof of
nature prophesying resurrection.
I saw the first redbud blossoms today on my way to Richmond which inspired my poem. I wanted to find out more about redbud trees and in researching them found they are also called the Judas tree. Although the story doesn’t add theological support to my poem, I would be remiss if I did not recount how the redbud tree became known as the Judas tree.
The story is that the redbud trees asked the Lord a favor. Since the great traitor Judas Iscariot hung himself on this tree, they asked the Lord to ensure that it never happened again. The Lord agreed and since then, all redbud trees have grown short with thin limbs that are low to the ground, thus unsuitable for hanging. The Lord also caused crimson blooms to burst out along the branches like rivulets of blood as a reminder of the blood Christ shed for the sins of the world, and the innocent blood betrayed by Judas. And the leaves would grow in the shape of hearts, to remind all who look of the endless and boundless love of God for our lost race.