Red Bud

Purple trees
And autumn leaves
Blooming all around
Gently they’re falling
With a tortured calling
Screaming without a sound
They are dying
But no one’s crying
As they hit the ground.

Jamie Morris
February 28, 1990

My friend Cindy and I were walking down a sidewalk on our college campus the day I wrote this poem. I kept referring to the trees as “purple trees,” and she kept correcting me by saying “Red Bud!” This poem started streaming out of me while we walked. It was actually a lot longer originally, but I couldn’t remember all of it later when I went to write it down. I kept this poem to remember that day, and how much we laughed at my deliberate obstinacy.

I love hearing what message other people receive when reading my poems. They often express a very different emotion than what I’m feeling when I write them. Most people would read this poem and think it’s very somber, but I smile whenever I read it because of the memories it evokes. What did you think reading it?


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