Sr. Mary Catherine Vukmanic, OSU

Forsythia comes first, then violet.
(Who watch for them through winter months agree)
Forsythia comes first, then violet
But till the dogwood bloom, it is not spring for me.

For dogwood was in bloom and spring returning
The day I made my choice (as finally youth must)
Between life’s two and two… yet oh! the slow heart’s learning:
First, dogwood bloom, then dogwood leaf, then—dust?

Forsythia fades first beside a road not taken.
I watch it come and go without regret.
Only a dogwood’s blooming sometimes leaves me shaken
Only a dogwood’s fading finds my lashes wet.

Sr. Mary Catherine Vukmanic entered the order of Ursulines of Pittsburgh following high school graduation. She received her master’s degree from Duquesne University and later her doctorate from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary after joining the Ursulines of Louisville. Her poems have appeared variously in America, Review for Religious, Spirit, etc. Now in retirement, she sees poetry as a form of continuing her work as a teacher… teaching the beauty of God’s creation and the goodness of life.