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The Orchard by John Durler
published in Volume 5, Issue 4 on December 1st, 1998

The long hill road too high,
muddy ruts packed in wet leaves,
lead to orchard apples
and foxfire among evergreens.

Our brook feeds hungry roots
vaulting its rushing water, sometimes
to appear as huge arches, bent and twisted,
animals use to cross, as I sometimes,
to the other side, whose hollow
holds wild things of the wood.

It beckons in the chill sweet ripple
of a robin singing.

Yet I hold to the road, apples in mind,
swing from saplings along the way,
as their sweet scent draws me,
singing "apple pan dowdies make your eyes light up.
Gimme some more of that wonderful stuff."

I walk through swarms of bees, flies, gnats.
Worms crawl or drop on silken threads
I brush away as I fill coat and shirt,
head back down the hill burdened by the
light roll of apples against my skin,
dreaming of buzzing insects, furry worms,
communal in heady contentment.

Light plays on trees.
Songs of the forest ring subtle
and pure as church chimes.

I am in awe as I hurry,
apples bobbing, back home.

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