12.29.2016

What I Learned in the Orchard

I watched an old man
pruning apple trees in December
laddered during snowfall
straining for the farthest branch
and realized I had not considered
that quickening is a year-round
lifelong commitment to growth
through paring back

So you
bygone year of want
you my bygone sister
buried expectations
in awful post-truth
It’s snowing

Still I ascend the highest rung
and start cutting
limbs leggily reaching for sun
because flowering requires tending
brings fruit for sustenance
and only now have I learned
what fruit from labor really means
That man has taught me a few things

For Mama Zen’s Words Count in the Imaginary Garden. My poem went long but I beg forgiveness as frankly that never happens! :)

12 comments:

  1. I love the fruit-tree metaphor... maybe we just need to be through a season and see that most of the branches are dead... much like the lies that mingle with truth.

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  2. "flowering requires tending" indeed! I think we've all learned a thing or three in 2016. I hope we'll remember them for always.

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  3. This is such a profound poem. The image of apple picking reminds me of Robert Frost. There is something perrenial in the image. I like to think of you metaphorically tending to apple trees in hopes of a sweeter harvest next year.

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  4. Agree with Kerry's comment--hard to imagine pruning in snow! But we have to figure it all out. Thought the middle stanza especially compelling. Thanks. k.

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  5. I LOVE this absolutely wonderful poem!

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  6. what fruit from labor really means
    That man has taught me a few things

    There is that special sense of satisfaction when one has a hand in it!

    Hank

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  7. So you
    bygone year of want
    you my bygone sister
    buried expectations
    in awful post-truth
    It’s snowing

    Oh Marian, this one touched down deep to the core!! Lovely write❤️
    xo

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  8. What a lovely metaphor for the passing year.

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  9. Luv the wisdom in fruit from labour 🍸🍸🍸

    Best wishes and

    Much love...

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  10. This is just beautiful, Marian. Really gorgeous work.

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  11. Just top-shelf stuff, evocative and warm but not syrupy, and not just because it's way too early to tap the maples.

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