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[This poem won the Yearly Contest of the

Women Poets of New York, 1986. Ed.]

 

 

My Firstborn Picks an Apple

 

One day in apple country

on a small hill

dappled with afternoon,

the light stood still.

 

Windfall about our steps

dimpled the grass

eloquent in praise

of things that pass

 

while overhead the season

moved without haste

teaching a kind of patience

sweet to the taste.

 

Four of us linked together

combed that hillside,

your father and I,

you and your bride

 

sharing your single apple

down to the core,

ourselves whole as good fruit.

Who could ask more

 

than such an hour,

such hands to hold,

walking in apple weather,

harvesting gold?

 

                           Rhina P. Espaillat

 

 

From Landscapes with Women: Four American
Poets,
Singular Speech Press, 1999; first
published in Plains Poetry Journal.  Reprinted
by permission of the author.