In shadblow time

Amelanchier 3

The last cattails lose their upholstery
in shadblow time
Men in camouflage work their turkey calls
in shadblow time

Amelanchier 2

I found a flattened snake curled like an ampersand
in shadblow time
I read about the army interrogator who put a bullet through her head
in shadblow time

Amelanchier 1

The world first learned about Abu Ghraib
in shadblow time
Oh sweet Canada Canada Canada sings the white-throated sparrow
in shadblow time

Shadbush blossoms

The shocking red of the first tanager
in shadblow time
The talk shows were full of rage
in shadblow time


Shadblow, also known as shadbush, Juneberry, sarvis, and serviceberry, is a small tree in the Amelanchier genus native to the woodlands of eastern North America. It can be hard to identify due to hybridization between species: primarily A. arborea, A. humilis, and A. canadensis. It is one of the first native trees to flower in the spring, producing delicious fruit in early summer that tastes like a cross between blueberries and cherries. In Plummer’s Hollow, as in much of the folded Appalachians, it seems fondest of the most acid, rockiest soils, growing as a spottily abundant member of the chestnut oak – red oak – pitch pine – mountain laurel forest type.

Tomorrow is the last day to submit links for the next Festival of the Trees, which will feature posts on flowering trees.

11 Replies to “In shadblow time”

  1. I love this, the way the mind keeps, at every repetition, trying to make “shadblow” into “shadow”, but being caught up short by that intractable ‘b’ every time.

  2. Perfect. The way you bring in the horror quietly, placing it gently alongside the beauty of the shadblow tree and the repeated rhythm of the refrain. That’s life, isn’t it?

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