Jesus Stopped at Dogwood and Wisteria

by Jeff Burt

If Jesus had risen on Easter in my own backyard
I would have put the dog inside
to stop her from sniffing his shroud

and made him a cup of the good coffee
instead of the boring decaf I drink, 
and maybe offered him the hammock

but he’d want to sit on the deck
and we’d just be silent, no talk,
watching the dogwood bloom so white

it hurts, and wisteria of a neighbor
that got away and now entwines an oak
over sixty feet tall, those purple wreaths

like a floral veil over the green canopy
of the forest, and the plums already
with hard green fruit on the branches

that squirrel’s touch but do not pick. We’d sit
and just watch as the sun comes over
redwoods and firs and the blooming madrones

and softens the lavender that bees enjoin.
Maybe I wouldn’t know who he was,
but I’d offer him more coffee just the same,

and with him just sitting there, silent, looking,
he’d know, like I, he was not only saved 
for the next world but this one as well.

Jeff Burt lives in Santa Cruz County, California, with his wife and a July abundance of plums. He has contributed to Heartwood, Williwaw Journal, Red Wolf Journal, and Clerestory. He won the Cold Mountain Review 2017 Poetry Prize. His work can be found at

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