Some apples are too high to pick,
and later fall under the old tree
where tonight the doe has stretched
her supple neck to search out
the sweet remains of summer fruit.
The moon is full and high,
and from its bright, the shadow
where I watch life feed on life.
My friend’s boy is very ill. Years
may pass before his hair sweeps
his shoulders again. Years before
my friend sees a night walk through
without grief. We all know and don’t say
he could die. Tonight, moonlight
is quick to glint off autumn’s first frost.
The doe trusts her nightly cover,
and tomorrow, will trust the russet weeds
dried tall over prairie grass to hide
her herd as they graze while I pass,
my eyes straight to road, their lanky bodies
periphery. God could be such
a wild body. What must be passed by,
fingers aching the touch, eyes wanting
to turn toward. What disappears
in a quick flick, a precise white rush
you can never be sure you have seen.
Of all the ways this could end,
I stand by apple, seed, flesh.
Core bound to root, even after
the arctic burn of each icy season.
Midwestern Gothic, Issue 20, Winter 2016