Posted tagged ‘thinking about war poem’

Under the Apple

April 11, 2015


Under the Apple

I lay under an apple tree,
Susie, my neighbor, next to me,
the boughs so low we would collide
with green knobs but for backward slide.

It was more or less 1964,
and I was worrying about world war–
twenty years since numbers One and Two
it felt like we were surely due,
while Susie fiddled with her bangs
which over her headband (orange) did hang.
also stood about her face
stuck in a growing-out weird phase.

Later that summer, my dear dog died,
beneath a much much taller tree
my missed catch, the bounced throw bent-
killed by me by accident–
In my weeping, all my woe,
I don’t think I thought any more
about world wars.

So, we veer, we career,
between the world’s cares
and our own–

I walk a hill now, mostly brown,
slip on ice slips that splice the ground,
stop to look at mists across,
the fog that at the top takes pause,
rests its arms on mountain’s brow
or perhaps the fog’s the sky’s low bough,
as the slopes, they lay themselves down.

And how beautiful even what keeps us from seeing can be,
I think,
if we really look.

I realize then that I have booked
fifty years since that low tree,
and despite the fears of Susie, me,
there hasn’t been that conflagration,
that cataclysm of every nation,
rather a series of smaller spasms–
though I suspect I would reflect
differently on all that loss
if I’d been one of those full tossed,
dismembered in those red divisions;
my head low bowed by deadly schisms.

I push my hair back walking home,
my other hand touching milk weed down–
last year’s stalks, without seed pod,
I hardly touch them, do not prod-
but they’re so hollow, black with rot
they just fall as like as not–
that’s just what they do–


A very very drafty poem for the prompt by Sherry Blue Sky on With Real Toads to write about balance and what helps you get through a world of chaos.   (I swear this was inspired by the prompt though I appreciate that it is a very strange take on it. )  This is also my 11th poem of April for this 2015 National Poetry Month.  Sorry for the length! 

PS – the photo is taken in the fall, not now–so there’s a different quality of light and milk weed!  Sorry!  Also have edited since first posting.