Forty feet up the ash tree,
branches begin to splay from the trunk
curving off toward light of their own.
One forms an almost perfect arch
and on its crest — an apple,
green and slightly shriveled, but intact.
It’s worthy of Magritte, no apple tree
in sight. We’re lunching on the deck
with my stepson who’s just lost his mother
when we notice it: apple as apparition.
Apple as praise for possibility, apple
as balance in abandonment. It’s Dan
who sees the squirrel retrieve it, later.
The fruit’s as big as the animal’s head,
but he leaps with it across chasms,
without hesitation, as if the air were substance.
Lisken Van Pelt Dus is a poet, teacher, and martial artist living in western Massachusetts. Her poems can be found in numerous journals, including Conduit, The Comstock Review, and Main Street Rag, and her first poetry collection, Everywhere at Once, was published this year by Pudding House Press.