As we drove to apple picking the mountain
flashed between the trees along the highway.
We watched as wrestled wheelbarrows bounced
down rutted lanes of grass and dirt, already
feeling our own weariness build into impatience
though our only labor was to walk and breathe
and find those emptier corridors where branches
cantilevered into archways. Our visit to the orchard
was so brief not one crystalline pip of apple flesh
ripened as we passed across the day’s photographic
plate. But even this was too much, brushing against
the lean, hardened curve of time, the season’s slow
sweet skin, sunlight and air tumbling into the shuttered
rooms of our skulls, dizzying. We gathered only what
we could hold, the road back an unfurling ribbon rushing
us home to nap, taut little globes spinning in our hands.
D. S. Butterworth teaches literature and creative writing at Gonzaga University. He has a creative non-fiction book, Waiting for Rain: A Farmer’s Story, and a book of poems, The Radium Watch Dial Painters. His poetry and fiction have appeared in many literary journals.