Apples

September 2, 2021

In our local grocer
I watch folks buy
at vast expense
tasteless, waxed
Red Delicious.
Surely that was not
what the Virgin offered
the Christ Child
in Memling’s diptych.

Unconsciously I begin
internally to chant:
Baldwin, Bramley Cox,
Cortland, Gravenstein,
Jonathan, Lodi,
Macintosh, Melrose,
Pippin, Rome, Russet,
Stamen, Winesap.

I think of the variety
grown by Amish farmers
across the river,
in the Sisters’ orchards
across the ocean,
remember windfalls
eaten with wasps.

If the snake offered
Mother Eve an apple,
I hope we did not
surrender Paradise
for a Red Delicious.