I wrote this back when I was picking apples at my neighbor’s orchard.



That was the year the apples fell into my bag

no matter what I did.

I would bump up against a limb

and they’d shake loose,

roll down my brown-sweatered arm,

glance off my shoulder

and into the turquoise canvas.

The bag filled, and filled.


The year before–most years–

those loosened apples hit the ground

and I left them to wasps, mice,

possums, the foraging deer.

Some of those years–the one

my sister died, or the one my folks left

the old house for the condo and we salvaged

perennials from my mother’s garden

and tried not to cry–it seemed

all the apples were wasted like that,

every last one.  But this year,

for a change, something different.


I stood under each tree looking up,

bemused, as one by one the globules fell

red and ready, like blessings,

like easy autumn dreams.


Nov. 21, 2002

Published in Connecticut River Review, July/August 2004

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