Once upon a time when I was younger and my kids were very small, we’d spend sunny afternoons picking apples in our own ancient orchard. I’d cut the good ones into big chunks and place them in the barrel of our cider press. The result was a sweet and tangy quaff meant for the Gods. I’d bottle it up in quart containers and with a sign in our driveway, invite those who were interested in buying this seasonal treat to our door. It sold well.
Those were simpler days. In today’s world, I long for those quieter times when I took great comfort in everyday gifts, like the making of cider.
The last of the crop dislodged I gather windfalls firm and rimy Rake the bruised into piles Where pincered earwigs crowd Droning yellow jackets sample the brew
My children pretend not to hear When I ask for their help prefer The rustle of leaves tumbling And diving scattering yesterday’s work
With sharpened knife I quarter Blushing rounds pack the barrel To overflowing lower the plate ‘Til it resists pressing sweet amber liquid Buckets of gold
I’m drunk on October apples Swishing mare’s tails Against a blue field of sky Wood smoke greeting the cold A threat of snow by morning