The Old Apple Tree


In the school yard, the
packed, worn, colourless dirt.  Dust
rising from our freedom, ribbons
of long grass tangling our ankles, crawling
in under the old
apple tree.

Roots our universe,
the branches bent-heavy.
Circumference of fallen fruit, alive with
the humming of bees.

How, for that singular moment, there
is nothing else.
That infinite microcosm, breathing in
the scent of rotting apples, tingling with
the threat of sting.

Child-dreams shining in our eyes, unspoken
stories of our complicated lives, just play, just pretend, just
for a moment more.

Hidden from adult eyes, the rasp
of mottled grey bark against skin, relief
from long division, and
not yet time to go in…


The old apple tree.

– R. Leigh Krafft