for Georgia and Ed Hadley

Stout and broad
as not any other apple tree I have ever seen,
growing at the edge of farmland and meadow,

it could be the beneficiary of
runoff from rolling crests of hillocks above it;
limbs upraised and held out

with its supple and fragrantly sweet
bounty of red and white buds. Just the sight
of it will imbed its glorious essence

within one’s very core, a dwelling
place for such rare images that feed the well
of living with a rare light of their own—

but that the apple tree now also resides
beside its humbler sister and a crabapple and
plum, which is naturally

evanescent, but whose preternatural
brilliance nurtures us with an image of what
is perpetual. Even when we attempt to

turn to walk away from the sheer dazzle
of such remarkable magnitude, we may even
stumble a bit in the wet grass in our attempt

to ever move away from it completely.
In its full dimension, complete, bounteous, as
is, it augments our lives with its

fragrant abandon, its lush magnificence,
the nearly incomprehensible amazement with
which it has instilled its beneficence

within us, not with the chaos or fury of
exaggeration or hyperbole, but with its nearly
shy humility, there by field’s edge—

of the apple tree in blossom . . .
petals dropping in the rain