with you under mottled dawn sky,
the morning air sweet and cold like cider.
My chapped hands tucked into pockets;
your eyes like beads
strung tight by the twine in my knotted chest.
Uncle Jo inside, the scent of freshly brewed coffee
and smoked Applewood bacon clouding the air.
This is it:
when we lift calloused feet
from beneath white sheets and shrug
into tattered jackets, itchy scarves and hats—
what we live for.
It’s the bowl of oats drenched in sweet,
warm milk, thick like glue. Or the cat curled tight
in the heart of momma’s rocker—
the basket of turnips plunked
beside muddy boots.
“This is it,”
I say as a frown pinches your skin,
like an arctic char hooked and reeled.
I watch a goldfinch flit from bough to bough
as apples thump into the steel pail.
The chomp of a McIntosh, clear juice
trailing down ruddy cheeks.
Oh, but love—
apple-picking with you
is not as bad as you think.
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