They call this apple
tree “wild.” And so
it bends over the road
like an umbrella
or a saint beginning
to pray. Always

among the first
to bloom—no fruit,
it is wild, remember?—
reminding others
of their coming

obligations, late
or even later

and then maybe
more glorious
for the waiting.

Every year it is
a surprise beside
the road, every year
a bit taller,
more redolent

so even a cynic
tired of cold
cocks an eye
and writes a poem
about being ready.