Apple Season by Joyce Sutphen


The kitchen is sweet with the smell of apples, big yellow pie apples, light in the hand, their skins freckled, the stems knobby and thick with bark, as if the tree could not bear to let the apple go.
Baskets of apples circle the back door,
fill the porch, cover the kitchen table.

My mother and my grandmother are
running the apple brigade. My mother,
always better with machines, is standing at the apple peeler; my grandmother, more at home with a paring knife, faces her across the breadboard.
My mother takes an apple in her hand,

She pushes it neatly onto the sharp
prong and turns the handle that turns
the apple that swivels the blade pressed tight against the apple's side and peels the skin away in long curling strips that twist and fall to a bucket on the floor.
The apples, coming off the peeler,

Are winding staircases, little accordions, slinky toys, jack-in-the-box fruit, until my grandmother's paring knife goes slicing through the rings and they become apple pies, apple cakes, apple crisp. Soon they will be married to butter and live with cinnamon and sugar, happily ever after.

This was sent to me from my Aunt Pat. Her SIL sent this note along with it, I couldn't help but include the note here:

Hi: I loved the apple poem. Thanks. We had an apple tree in our back yard when we lived in Magnolia. It had three different apples - King, Golden Delicious and Winesap. It bore prodigiously. I made sauce, pies, tarts, and Waldorf salads. This was such a treat for a Florida Cracker, who usually had a singhle apple or two per year. I always approved the devil's choice in tempting Adam. An orange or a banana wouldn't have done the trick. love Dot

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