WEATHER: Hazy sunshine, high in the 50’s, no wind. Too warm, but good working weather for the woods crew who’ve been busy repairing tubing.
Today’s sun reminded me of a journal entry from a year ago, The Year of the Apple Glut. In September, a syrup customer called from out-of-state to ask if she could once again fill up a basket with drops from our apple trees. I had to tell her our trees produced no apples this year – no surprise after a banner year. Last year’s glut of unharvested apples rolled down the bank onto the day lily garden, a freewill offering of mulch/compost.
By the Sap Shed, An Apple Tree
This early morning, from an upper window, I see splotches
of silver where the sun highlights the trunk. A Cortland, this tree twists
off to the left, branching at the height of a pick-up truck.
The base of the tree plugs into the ground
like little Jack Horner’s thumb in his Christmas pie.
I feel the gravity of it; it’s a dump truck of a trunk.
Facing me, a scar like a coffee coaster indicates pruning.
The tree hangs over the day lilies along the rock wall.
Every few years, Lew lops off a limb that droops too far out.
Today, the skeleton of branches and twigs belongs
in a scary children’s book, illuminated by lightning.
The tree threatens.
Or, rather, the apple tree is a callus of branches that work;
these are my hands that work. The branches erupt into fingers
of twigs, reaching for the air just beyond, never arriving.
On this Cortland tree, the twigs point toward the grass.
Bobbles of yellow-red shine among the twigs,
globes the size of, well, a small apple.
Why do so many apples never fall from the tree?
Adorning the apple globes are leaves the color of Canadian
pea soup which is more yellow than American pea soup.
They too reflect the sun.
This apple tree was a wedding present. We can’t cut it down,
even if it is shading out my beloved day lilies. Today’s beauty redeems
the transgression. Each tree, each marriage, in its own time.
The Beacon apple tree next to it, the other wedding present, presents as silver,
no bobble ornaments,
its members electrified by the sun.