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Thoughts, drunk on the season’s first apple.

Today I ate the season’s first apple,
a Honeycrisp,
the size of your head.
To hold it strained my fingers.
It was mellow,
tasting mildly of banana,
and it made my mind spin
all the way
to poetry.

# # #

I will condone,
as an adult,
only one thing
to be flung from car windows:
An apple core.

There is, no doubt,
some argument against that;
some innocent wild beast
to choke on the core,
or some native plant
pushed from its one true home
by intrusive apple-shoots.

I do not care.
I eat precisely
behind the wheel,
stripping each morsel
from off the core
like diamonds.

And then,
along some ill-watched stretch
or blind-treed curve,
I fling
with best wishes.

# # #

When I run for President,
mark not my words,
because there is only one promise
on which I plan
to ever make good.

When I am President,
the scientific resources
of our mighty nation
will be devoted
to the creation and nurture
of a brand-new apple —
sweet of flesh,
dappled in color,
resilient in nature,
generous in yield,
to be called
Hobo’s Feast.

Front-page photos
will show horn-rimmed men
in pristine lab coats,
holding up strains
of brand-new cultivars,
practically vibrating
with potential.

When the magic combination
reveals itself,
shy undergraduates,
too fresh-faced or knock-kneed
for the Peace Corps,
will do their civic duty
scattering seeds
in public parks,
in forests,
in empty Midwest pastures,
in vacant lots,
millions and millions,
a far-flung cosmos
of seeds.

And when they grow,
all may reap.
Hungry travelers,
sportive children,
the desolate,
the down-and-out,
and those
who simply enjoy
crispness between their teeth
and gentle sweetness fading on their tongues.

Yes, my friends,
a Hobo’s Feast
on every palm.

I have never lied
to the American people.


4 responses »

  1. Brilliant! Sent it to Sally Randall, who enjoyed it immensely.

    Are HoneyCrisps your favorite? Mine are still Macouns, which are only available for a very few weeks a bit later in the fall because they apparently have no shelf life.

  2. I am similarly moved to reverie by the Wealthys and Wolf River apples I sometimes get from the local heirloom orchard. I was once told that Wolf Rivers aren’t good for eating out of hand. Perhaps, unless you remember a lone tree that stood a couple of hundred yards out in a cow pasture and produced only maybe a dozen good apples every year, as big as basketballs, worth tiptoeing through the cowpies to secure before they spoiled or were stepped on.

  3. Not sure if you’ve read Botany of Desire but this is a great clip on apples by the author:


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