Throwback Thursday: Crabapples

This one also was featured in 13Chairs‘ first issue.  Check out their spring issue free and see this poem and more.


You resisted Eve’s temptation

for far too long, passing

by the crabapple tree each day

with the stroller filled with the overtired,

but never passed out, fussy toddler.


The fruit hangs low,

red with a bit of yellow,

that by the day is eclipsed

by the growing red.


Each day you long for a bite

Because you think

it will remind you of Sky Queen,

the blue bike with the cloud seat

and the white straw basket

with three plastic daisies

of pink, blue and purple.
In the Midwest of your memory,

the crabapple tree reclines like a “y”

in your babysitter’s backyard.

In the summer, you rode

Sky Queen through the grass and crushed apples,

making your own sour applesauce on the ground.


For hours you gazed at the “y” and

from its branches, took the green apples and

threw them at the neighbor’s kid.

From its leaves, you sought shelter

from the July heat before you took bites

from the dirty apples

until your babysitter’s old finger shook

and sentenced you inside.


In Alaska, as the clouds spill low around the mountains,

the September morning frosts over the tree,

yet the fruit still stands,

inviting you to take it in like an old friend

who shows up at your doorstep unexpected.

So, you invite it in without looking,

and just as the child once did,

your now mature hands reach

over the stranger’s fence to pluck the reddest fruit.


Taking a bite, you are looking at the “y” again

and Sky Queen is your ride,

but now the fruit is bitter,

not tart like you once remembered.

You hear the buzzing

and see the yellow jackets

as they sting your feet

and suddenly, you notice the present world,

and you toss the bitter apple into the street drain,

and bid the uninvited guest to go away.



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