One should not have an orchard and
Not care for it; so she tries,
Even lurches from the depths of a chair
She's found at some thrift, pre-softened; from
Her house, warm or cool as she might wish,
Out into too much sun or too much rain; from
Under the kind roof of a porch she'd built,
Leaving tool after tool there to gather
Dust and webs, marks of a new will to
Neglect. Beyond the weed-bent fence, an
Orchard of sorts awaits her care, each
Task having skipped two years at least.
Hands grasp lopper and saw. She visits
Apple, quince, pear, plum, cherry, clipping
Vines, tall weeds, watersprouts, suckers;
Even designates branches for her stove.
As the forenoon warms, she strips off
Now her hat, next jacket, shirt and gloves,
Old skin offered to thorns, thistles,
Rough bark. Really she'd meant to hire it done,
Children of neighbors being short on cash.
Habit, she could call it. Habit, and the way
Apples come best that see right sun,
Ripe enough to pay her for some pains.
Do a thing yourself to see it through.