Thursday, December 24, 2015

Decembering in the orchard

All that is left is the Granny Smiths; she 
Loves that they cling to their shivered tree,
Leaves long gone. Even the hens have left off

Trusting the sky to toss them sugar, and
Have retired to their tractor, pecking
At storebought feed in its styrene bin.
The winds whistle through, rasping 

Ink-black twigs together; the apples nod and
Stub their green bellies. She

Lifts ten or so down, as if they were 
Each one of her own breasts, tenderly
Filling her small basket. In the kitchen
They will sit shyly waiting their turn:

It is the season for other foods; in 
Stoneware bowls, nuts and citrus

Talk among themselves in distant tongues.
Here her hands make outland meals,
Even finding work for lemon skins.

Granny Smiths are not much favored,
Really, by her guests; in festive mood, if an 
Apple is desired, they'll reach for waxed,
Not thinking of that one tree, struggling
Night and day to keep for them fresh joy. 
Yet she knows she cannot blame them;

Shy apples do their best in pie.
Moonlight limns the fruit she did not pick;
If some green globes remain at large tonight,
The morning light will prove, tomorrow,
Holiday for those that cannot buy.
Squirrels and towhees will know what to do.




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