“The Apple Tree”

“The Apple Tree”
© 2013 by Michael L. Utley

The apple tree
Behind the house
Has long ago
Stopped bearing fruit

It stands alone
In sickness bold
Half its branches
Dead or dying

Leaves the hue
Of summers past
Defy the sun
The pouring rain

Bound there in
White-knuckled grip
On mournful twigs
On listless boughs

As autumn fades
The leaves succumb
Each one a
Small gold suicide

Each gilded drop
A dying spark
A universe now
Mute in death

No one knows
This apple tree
Behind the house
A secret world

Where eons pass
And ages fade
Unknown to all
Except to me

And chilly sun
And hurried cloud
And thoughtless bird
And bitter breeze

The pristine snow
Has covered all
A silent shroud
Has fallen here

An icy dirge
A funeral pall
As winter metes
A healing balm

In sanguine hope
That springtime sun
Will summon forth
The apple tree

But even so
It saddens me
This futile thing
This apple tree

That cannot see
It matters not
If life abounds
When living hurts

To live alone
Infirm and weak
While bony fingers
Seek the sky

And wretched leaves
In breezes weep
And shattered dreams
Litter the ground

In autumn piles
Of yellow dross
That go unseen
And fade away

7 thoughts on ““The Apple Tree”

    1. Thank you much, Saima, for your comments on this poem. That apple tree existed (and perhaps it still does–I haven’t visited the family farm in seven years) and grew behind the house near my bedroom window, so I saw it every day while growing up. I felt pity for it. There was a sadness about it as it struggled so hard to survive and bear tiny green apples. Half of its branches were dead or dying, and it really did resemble a gnarled old hand reaching toward the sky. It was also a metaphor for my mom, whose health deteriorated over the years and left her nearly bedridden. In the end, the apple tree outlasted my mom. It’s one of those hidden things that holds deep meaning for those who look and see and listen to nature. It’s one of my favorite poems. Thanks for your kind words. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 Thank you so much, Mike, for sharing your very personal experience and memories of the “apple tree”, and also a lot more — which is very close to your heart (i can feel it), that’s why this poem is so beautiful, it’s one of my favourite poems (by you) too💕🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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