Wednesday, September 4, 2013

apple jelly

I wanted to find a poem about apple picking to go with these pictures,
but Robert Frost seemed too heavy, and besides, 
nobody picks that many bushels of apples in Alaska.

Maybe something then by Mary Oliver?
No, it turns out she and Seamus Heaney were blackberry pickers.
And I'm sorry to say that even though William Carlos Willams ate all the plums
He didn't cover the subject of apples.

I'm sure that somewhere in a dog-eared volume on someones bookshelf there is a perfect verse
that catches the orchard on a dewy morning, humble apple tree boughs heavy with ripe fruit kissing the tops of yarrow and the last of summer's wild grass.
Each apple there, no matter how tiny or large, 
how crisp or pithy or tart hides in its heart a tiny star-shaped secret.  
A remembrance of seasons past and moment of present to memorize the good weight of this fruit in your hand, the satisfying thud as it falls into your basket or bowl. Then your mind wanders 
to a current patch in the forest, stealing the ruby gems in the last of the waning summer sunlight; 
being only human, you begin to scheme what it is you will do with all your orchard spoils

 Later in a steam-filled kitchen, you will dole out samples of crystal jelly to delighted children, 
eyes bright from September adventures and too much sugar
 You, the queen of the apples will look out a rain streaked window pane, and wonder 
how many women have passed an unremarkable moment like this
trying to capture this little bit of summer
in a mason jar.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful language, beautiful pictures. I can taste the jelly now...