in the midst of death

as i was driving through the spring sunshine
i noticed a red bud tree by the roadside
its trunk contorted away from the path
one gnarled branch twisted downward
bereft of any buds, barren
probably even dead

yet above that withered limb
reached another arm resplendent
in a riot of bright purple blossoms
and above it still more glad branches
greeted blue sky and sunlight
in the midst of death, oh, we live