Spiritual Poetry posted March 29, 2009

This work has reached the exceptional level
reflective quatrain poem

The Legend of the Dogwood

by adewpearl

My father planted dogwood trees
that blossomed in the spring,
and every year he'd share with me
this legend of our King.

Two thousand years and more ago
they built a killing cross
to crucify a gentle man --
the world still feels His loss.

They chose a stalwart dogwood tree,
the strongest tree then grown,
to bear the weight of Christ's last hours
before He took His throne.

The tree, of course, had no last say
on choices mankind made,
and suffered greatly for the part
in Jesus' death it played.

It wept as nails were hammered in
and shared Christ's every pain --
then prayed no crucifixion would
it ever aid again.

Did Jesus sense the grief this tree
felt as His life drained out?
What happened next should answer this
beyond a shade of doubt.

For where the dogwoods once had towered
above the mighty oak,
their branches now grew gnarled and fine,
not fit for cross or yoke.

And still their cross-shaped blossoms bloom,
reminding us each May,
compassion triumphs over hate,
and hope outlives dismay.


I do not know the origin of the legend of the dogwood, but it has been around at least since I was a child. I have not made it up but put it into poetic form and added my own message at the end. In addition to what I have included, there is more symbolism in the blossoms. Each petal bears the mark of the nail and is stained red, to symbolize Christ's blood, and in the center of each flower is a crown of thorns. The actual type of tree used for the cross is never mentioned in the Bible.
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