My Mom introduced me to the legend of the dogwood tree when I was a child. It was one of the most poignant poems I’d ever read. It has stayed with me for lo these many years. The text of this great story is captured below:
The Legend of the Dogwood
In Jesus’ time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
‘Twas strong & firm its branches interwoven
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
“Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so
Slender & twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown
The blossom’s center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected this tree shall be
A reminder to all of my agony.”