Pausing in between the pounding of posts
and the stretching of wire,
I saw a small hint of fire flaring
from the dark greens of late leaves
in the old apple tree in the pasture.
It seemed unlikely that there would still be fruit
hanging this late
above the few scattered on the ground,
still wet with dew in the deep shade of afternoon.
And yet, there it was,
bright in spite of the small spots of blight and bites,
old wounds from bugs and beetles in the early summer,
dimpled into the flesh of the fruit.
I pulled it from the branch
with only a slight tug,
rubbed it on the front of my shirt
until it shone like love on a chilly day,
found a smaller one hanging from another branch
and ate it on my way up the slope from the field.
I brought the larger one into the house
where you lay on the couch,
ice pack and ibuprofen nursing the pain and stiffness
from slipping on the stairs last week
and helping me with the fencing this morning.
I laid it, shining, on the small table
next to your coffee cup,
“Here you are, Hon:
the last good apple on the tree.”
The smile in your eyes
could have melted caramel.