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Front cover design for Jugend magazine, depicting a young woman with a dreamy expression on her face, with apples ripening on the branches of a tree.      Date: 1898
Apple of My Tree

 

If nothing else it was a good year for apples

at Auchamore Road.

The apples multiplied daily like protesters

outside a corrupt parliament.

 

The apples are now ready, an invisible jay

is singing to them. His voice entrances me

like the sound of planets moving in space.

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Share an apple with me –

you have the green half, I’ll have the red.

Let our lips meet in the middle.

 

The apples have come from my very own garden.

I watched them grow and then with a twist

freed them from the arm of the tree.

 

They glow in a bowl in my kitchen,

silky skinned, they appeared suddenly.

A song of apples – each one holds its own note,

has its own key.

 

The bowl brings them together, a garden harmony –

the sound of the rowan, jackdaw, pigeon.

 

When I bite into one, your lips meet me.

Your eyes, dark seeds.

When I eat an apple I taste your lips –

earthy and sweet.

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I’ve taken to wearing silver hearts

and dreaming of silver apples.

 

In my dream I gather them, hold them

in my hands. They have grown for me,

 

the garden gifts them to me.

When I peel an apple, its skin falls in letters

at my feet and it speaks to me –

 

apple of my tree.

 

 

© Marion McCready

Picture 10438415, illustration by Julie Wolfthorn in Jugend, September 1898, image copyright Mary Evans

 

 

Marion McCready lives in Dunoon, Argyll. She won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2013 and the Melita Hume Poetry Prize for her first full-length collection Tree Language which was published by Eyewear Publishing in 2014. Her second collection Madame Ecosse was published in 2017 also by Eyewear Publishing.