Thursday, December 29, 2011

For Those Who Die Too Early: Call-and-Response


How late will the season of apples be?
In winter they were thinned to grow larger
all spring, summer, and through the early fall.
Love all weather that engenders true growth,
the patience that will not harvest too soon.

Pluck apples with quick fingers, but only
while their bodies are firm, their juices sweet
to the tongue lest they be sour, left fallow
among leaves. Yet do not wait too long lest they fall
to the earth and rot. Find them where they drop
before harvest ends and winter begins.

Believe, above all, in the generous orchard,
the bounty of its trees beyond measure.
Husband charity that is also love.
Cherish her flesh whose tenderness you wived.


Where, then, do we cross into harvest time?
Are there fountains that feed paradise roots?
Do their waters fall from the sky whose clouds
welcome souls and send rain? A body’s breath
echoes what we call wind. We suckle heat
so long we dread the sun’s disappearance.

(29 December 2011)

copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander

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