Apples in January

I stand planted underneath

my twisted old apple tree

and peer up into late January.

Dark branches break open

the grey sky.

 

Too many branches mean

dense Summer leaves will choke

out July’s sunlight

any breeze will strangle and fall dead

encouraging disease and rot.

That’s no way to grow apples.

I pause and follow each branch,

carefully tracing criss-crossing patterns along

each dark line from tip to base and tip again.

Cold slips into the small space

between coat and gloves.

 

I stand still staring up

seeing the way Summer sunlight will sift through leaves

how August breezes will sing along branches.

 

The first cut is always the hardest

letting go always is.

 

A small pile of

slender discarded whips

grows steadily beside the heavy trunk

making room for air

for light

for apples.

 

Here in the middle of Winter

face bright and stiff with cold.

I peer up through these branches

into a bright January Afternoon

to find the sunlight of July

the breeze in August

and Apples in September.

forestcheck

UniverseCheck.

Photo Credit: Anita Bowen Photography

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