10.18.2009

Apple Picking and the Subsequent Use of Apples

1
Tomorrow I start eating apples.
Someone please hand me my teeth.
I measured many afternoons
by the bucket I filled and still,
I look at each apple with
a friendly reminiscence. Some,
I call by name. I croon
and whisper to them, admire
their patina and waxy red hue.
I relive their capture, fondly
caressing the details. Others,
relegated to the back rows,
I ignore, embarrassed that I
brought them to harvest.
I take pains to document
each one in lively writing,
highlighting the flaws
and ghostly virtues;
then, with scrupulous hands,
upon the shelf I replace them
with tedious consideration
of charisma and emphasis.

2
There is something pleasing
about the resistance of plucking,
a supple bough snapping back
on release, and of the subsequent
weight in the palm, a pleasure
Newton never appreciated,
though to be fair, the richest
and ripest of my collection,
compelled by gravity, often fell
into my hands, all shiny
and ready for consumption.
Like any good researcher,
I dropped them in the bucket
and examined the physics,
attempting to discern the conditions
that allowed for such fortune,
whereby I might duplicate
the product indefinitely.
This has yielded poor results
and even poorer intake
of perfectly edible food.

3
I have noticed that many
of my first fruits have been
visited by entropy, their gloss
and firm texture replaced
by soft, dull aging lines.
I should probably check
for worms. The newest
additions, on the other hand,
still appetize, though not everyone
likes apples as much as I,
nor is the flavor universally
consistent with the sheen.
I am helplessly reminded
of funeral caskets, which look
so elegant on the outside.
Still the issue remains:
apples achieve so little
in looking good. What charm
they have invites one on
to purpose, the fulfillment
of their raison d’ĂȘtre.
They were never meant
to indicate one’s aplomb
at picking fruit.

4
I grasp yesterday’s yield
in my hand, turn it over,
toss it a few times between
my hands and assess the dulcet
pop of fruit on flesh before
replacing it. It’s silly to waste
good apples this way. I’ll eat one
tomorrow.

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