My Unpicked Branches

It’s the season of harvest and fruit,
the culmination of that brown sweat
shed in summer-shimmer sheets
and red-hot ribbons that somehow
twine around roots and snake up
trunks and push out thru branches
in the swollen tender tips of twigs
become blossoms become

The real mystery to me
is why nobody picks these
crimson circles crisp and crunchy?
Why I stand here full and verdant
fragrant and feeling fine,
and not an apple plucked or pulled?

I cannot pick myself.
I cannot harvest that which
is perpetually out of my reach
but is only one ladder away
from anybody who hungered
for those apples bobbing
on the swaying branches.

But I am used to that, being
a feast for birds and bugs
and winter worms in the cold,
a fermenting hearth in a frosty night
under the stars so bright
and dancing and the wind
still caressing my unpicked branches.


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