DO NOT PEEL OR CORE THE FRUIT
September was a gentle month. The crab-apples needed picking.
Coral, berry-bright, they brimmed my early basin.
The neat knife chopped, cut down through hard little hearts;
Stirred, simmered, stewed for hours till soft.
(Tomorrow is the funeral of my father.)
All night in the quiet larder bloody-water drops collected
Till morning-prudent hands wrung the last from the muslin.
The markings on the jug said just enough, no more.
(Today is the funeral of my father.)
Scales swung. Bleached crystals grated in the pan, dissolved to pink.
Juice bubbled, seethed and reached its setting point.
(Today was the funeral of my father.)
September is a gentle month. The crab-apples need picking.
A single jar, one small tree’s harvest, glimmers on the highest shelf
Pale sunset-red between the ranks of marmalade and chutney.
Written in 1991 on the death of the author’s father – by Meridian Mature Citizens Forum member:
Thank you Jan for the seasonable and reflective poem