Posts Tagged ‘apple’

even as we devour
the apple
scent of apple blossoms

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Making Applesauce

To buy three boxes of apples

is to believe the world

will go on long enough

that we should preserve

the goodness of autumn.

Perhaps it is practical

to cook the fruit,

to store it in jars,

but I prefer to think of it

as hope filling the house

with its sweet red perfume,

hope filling the shelves

with the memory

of sunshine, of bloom.

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Wash the apple. Quarter the apple.

Seed and thinly slice the apple.

A whole morning can pass this way—

holding the apples, slicing them through,

making small v’s in the quarters

to remove the seeds.

And how many times in four hours

do I notice how perfectly the apple

fits in the palm of one hand—

as if it were made to be held.

How seldom did I dance

beyond efficiency to notice

how the skin resists the knife,

but the flesh is so sweet, so willing.

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It’s something the hands learn

with practice—how thin to slice

the apples for drying, how close

to cut to the core. In the same way

the hands learn to touch a lover,

how gently, how firmly, just where.

Oh the apple. What it knows

of desire. What it knows

of bruising, of bite. Oh the hands,

what they know of precision.

Of the pleasure of practice.

Of the joy in getting it right.

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We begin by talking for an hour

about the kids, her church, dad’s health,

and how we both cry when we see acts of goodness.

We clean the kitchen. Address one mess

before starting the next. Then we peel apples,

marvel at their size—how much larger

they must be than in the time of Fanny Farmer,

who thinks we might need eight tart apples

for our nine-inch crust. Fanny, even a hundred years later,

you are still synonymous with precision,

organization and good food. And, as I recall,

you, too, practiced your art in your mother’s kitchen.

As it is, seven apples in 2018 are enough

to fill two generous crusts. Oh Fanny,

some things have changed, for instance

this Granny Smith, large as my fist. But some things

are exactly the same. A level teaspoon

is still a level teaspoon. The simplest recipes

are still often the best. And it’s still so good

to make a pie with your mother, talking

about all of life’s loose ends, measuring sugar,

filling the crusts, then cleaning up the mess

as the scent of sweetness touches everything.


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Of course the angels fall—

perhaps when leaning in closer

to hear our whispers


or when trying to keep up with us

as we dance—


perhaps because they wish

in that moment for bodies such as ours,

bodies so full of hope and passion,


so alive with risk and rush,

that they trip on their hems


and forget for a moment

they have wings, forget for a moment


they’re supposed to be guarding us,

preferring to watch as we fall, too,

all of us ripe, sweet apples.

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Not once
has the worm
said to the apple
your flesh
does not taste
good enough.
But it is so much
nicer, you don’t
need to be a worm
to understand,
when the fruit
is full of sugar
and the dark,
lonely work
is also sweet.

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Lunch in September

Inside the woman
who slices
the apple
is the girl
who fell
in love
with fall
of that

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