​2nd Prize: Poetry & Players Poetry Competition 2013

Crab Apple Tree

Warm floorboards, the piano, that blue chair
And outside dirty snow and dirty sky where
Last year we picked crab apples in October,
The afternoon so warm you wore a vest
That bloodied as you cut and crushed the fruit.
I watched you rig the noose for the jelly bag;
Such strong practical hands. Now the jars rest
In a sagging box in the boot of your frozen car
Next to the books and the music.  Behind me
You button your coat, red mouth bereft,
As the crab apple tree shivers with blackbirds
Stabbing their yellow beaks into what’s left.