Peeling an Apple – Anne Graue

I had a dream months after you had gone.
You stood by the sink peeling an apple.
In a panic, I told you that you were dead

and asked why you were in the kitchen, now
only Mom’s. You turned toward me and laughed,
said, I’ll go soon, in just a quick minute.  

When I’m done, I’ll go. I said, ok then.

You always peeled apples with your pocket
knife, circling the white flesh in one long strand
of red peel spiraling toward the table

reminding me, if the skin stayed intact
to the end then there would be good weather
coming. Sure, I thought, probably rolling

my eyes at 12 or 13 when we’d sit
at the table, eat dinners with fruit as
dessert, sit and talk about our day as

you insisted. I had nothing much to
share then and even less in my 20s
when boys, school, and cars flooded my life with

meaning I mistook for significance
which was only fading flutters, feelings
I thought were more real than you, your stories

about the war, about your farming days,
about all the roads and bridges you worked
on, the places you’d been. Dreaming of you

was something in me telling me that I
was forgiven for not making it to
you before your last day on earth, knowing

things happen as they happen and nothing
can prevent them from filling our lives with
remorse, guilt, sadness, and grief, but then we

move on, peel the apple, leave the kitchen,
leave everything in its place.

Anne Graue

Anne Graue’s work appears online and in print in journals and anthologies. The author of Full and Plum-Colored Velvet, (Woodley Press, 2020) and Fig Tree in Winter (Dancing Girl Press, 2017), she is also a poetry editor for The Westchester Review. Find her on Twitter @agraue & on Instagram @amgrauepoet.

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.