One eve, an old woman walks her dog
past the curving drive
of the big house, a green tunnel
leading to a pile of yellow stone
In another life, the old woman thinks
she might have known a house like this.
She remembers how the sunlight fell,
Filtered, the colour of pressed cider,
Across the weathered floor
In a copse of apple trees
groaning above the damp ground.
She stoops, a little stiffly, grasps one in her hand.
Windfalls are for the taking, but instead
She picks some, wanting
to get them home still dry. She knows
nobody else will take this bitter fruit.
They are ripe, and twist off with a snap
Large, firm, so light they feel almost hollow.
Soon the old woman’s bag is full
Of golden globes. At her heels
The patient dog waits, legs angled wide.
She looks around. There are so many here.
She sighs. When she is gone, what
will become of them? They will roll
into the wet grass, lie forgotten, go
brown, rotten, crushed by the mower.