Apple Tree

You gave me an apple tree
that Christmas:
new life
from past love.
I planted it on the lawn
and fussed around it
as if it were newborn,
worrying about
codling moth
and when to prune it
and the high winds
that might lean it
and wincing
when removing
tiny apples
from thin branches
to make the others
grow large and firm.
You gave me an apple tree,
the perfect gift,
spreading today
into the future
like pollen on bees.
You gave me an apple tree
but I maintained my distance
because roots in the earth
are one thing,
but those that delve
skin and flesh
and test
scars and bruises
are quite another.

Dawn Gorman
(first published in Soul of the Earth, and subsequently in Mend & Hone)