Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Scent of Apples

—Anonymous Photo

—Robert Frost, 1874-1963
My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.


For more about Robert Frost, see 

Poets everywhere will be saddened to learn that SnakePal Donal Mahoney passed away in late July. His wife, Carol Bales Mahoney, writes:  "I am so sorry to tell you that my beloved husband, Donal Francis Mahoney, died at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis on July 26. When we returned on July 13, his doctor found internal infection had spread. He fought to live, but one infection followed another and the last one his body could not overcome." Our thoughts are with you, Carol. Even though he lived far away in St. Louis and then in Illinois, Donal was a part of our community here in the Kitchen since he was first featured in 2014. He will be sorely missed.


 Donal Mahoney, Partner in Poetry

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