I wrote this back when I was picking apples at my neighbor’s orchard.
THE YEAR THE APPLES FELL
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