Eve, gathering apples.


One eve, an old woman walks her dog

past the curving drive

of the big house, a green tunnel

leading to a pile of yellow stone

In another life, the old woman thinks

she might have known a house like this.

She remembers how the sunlight fell,

Filtered, the colour of pressed cider,

Across the weathered floor


In a copse of apple trees

groaning above the damp ground.

She stoops, a little stiffly, grasps one in her hand.

Windfalls are for the taking, but instead

She picks some, wanting

to get them home still dry. She knows

nobody else will take this bitter fruit.


They are ripe, and twist off with a snap

Large, firm, so light they feel almost hollow.

Soon the old woman’s bag is full

Of golden globes. At her heels

The patient dog waits, legs angled wide.

She looks around. There are so many here.

She sighs. When she is gone, what

will become of them? They will roll

into the wet grass, lie forgotten, go

brown, rotten, crushed by the mower.