How to Cut an Apple

“You can’t cut into an apple
without shining it a bit.”
Grandpa pulled his handkerchief,
polished the heart-shaped fruit
then gave it to me to twist the stem;
our walk along the river’s rim.

He’d grown up by an orchard
hauling carts of seasonal bins.
The golden delicious harvesting season
meant he’d be late for school again.

He’d then take out his pocket knife
and cut us each a perfect slice.
The cool cheesecake flesh,
and the perfect smiling wedge
my teeth could etch-a-sketch.

I’d eat mine like a watermelon,
tossing out the rosy rind.
Poison from our family’s grounds
made Grandpa lose his mind.

He taught me silence
somewhere beneath the apple trees that
will outlive us both.
Patient planter, wisdom-speaker,
thank you, for tending me while I grew.

© khartless 2021, All Rights Reserved


D’Verse’s Tuesday Poetics is hosted by Kim. The challenge this evening is to think of a fruit, how it looks before and after it has been cut open, and how it tastes. Join us.

This poem is about my grandfather who grew up on his family’s apple orchards. He loved apples and sharing wisdom with his grandkids.

46 Comments

    1. K.Hartless

      Thank you kindly, Selma. It was an easy one as it came straight from the heart. My grandfather had a wonderfully calm presence that I always try to emulate with my own children. He was patient and gentle.

      Like

  1. Ingrid

    I love this, especially ‘my teeth could etch-a-sketch’ and the delicate way you describe your relationship with your Grandpa. Sorry to learn of his fate though.

    On a technical note, the link to dVerse which you posted in Mr Linky doesn’t link to your poem – I had to click through to your site.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kim881

    Grandparents have such an influence on us, don’t they? I love that the grandpa in your poem shines the apple first – mine did that too – and that you included the stem twist – I’m going to try that later! I also love the ‘cool cheesecake flesh, and the perfect smiling wedge’, so tempting, and that your grandpa taught you ‘silence somewhere beneath the apple trees’, something not many children know these days.

    I too, had to clcik onto your site to find the poem, Would you like to link up again? I can delete the erroneous one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. K.Hartless

      Hi Kim, sorry, I was so exhausted yesterday when I posted this. I must have added the wrong link. Yes, I will add the direct link, If you could please delete the erroneous one. Thank you so much for hosting; I saw the prompt and had to write despite the long day.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. K.Hartless

      Thank you, John. Was tired last pm, but thought, this fruit prompt was just too perfect for this memory that recently surfaced when I saw my son with a handkerchief. I still try to be more like my grandfather-kind and wise.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. areadingwriter

    Such a heartfelt tribute this is, K. Love the differences on how to eat apple but rounds up to the memories made possible by apples.

    the profoundness of your ending is so so good:
    He taught me silence
    somewhere beneath the apple trees that
    will outlive us both.

    Like

    1. K.Hartless

      Thanks, Björn. There’s something about sliced fruit that feels different, maybe the delay or the delicate cuts. My grandfather had a lot of respect for the apples and enjoyed this ritual.

      Like

  4. sanaarizvi

    I love this, especially “the cool cheesecake flesh, and the perfect smiling wedge, my teeth could etch-a-sketch,” and the poignant manner in which you have described the relationship with your Grandpa. I am sorry to learn about his fate though.

    Like

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