The Apple Tree
Tilted on its bank, lopsided, misplanted under taller
trees, each May it blooms a spill of light that tosses
bud casings and soft sweeps of petals on the road.
Year after year, unpruned, moss and lichen-embossed
branches are wrapped in the invisible gauze of bees.
Come September, Hesperian, green, gold, russet
fruit falls and is crushed under tires or is frozen,
thawed and refrozen to a mash that dissolves
in March rain. Spring cascade of white, autumn
spill, winter rot, an odic force swelling buds,
unfurling blooms, unleashing buzz. A testament
tree to optimism, having grown toward what it needs,
never naming itself misshapen, it bends, sways,
is what it is, does what it does, and gradually
will wither, wood hardening, cracking in wind.