That Apple


Apples in a Kelowna orchard

This poem first appeared in Sheddings, a collection of poems by members of the Unitarian Fellowship of Kelowna. It was written by an extraordinarily talented poet, one who savors every word, its sound, its feel, its texture. Marilyn Raymond is also the author of Sunflowers, Baba Yaga, and Sucking on Stones.

© 2007 Marilyn Raymond

I have wondered about that apple
           the one that changed everything.

I imagine the woman
           dreaming through the garden.

                      I see her pausing
                                 and reaching,
                                            slow and
                                 content in the
                                 warm air…

And then,…the sweet sharp snap
as her teeth break the skin
           the juicy crunch
                      the ache in her taste buds
                                 juice on her lips.

Something happened
           in that moment
           with that bite
                      of that apple…

The heavy drone of bees
around the fallen fruit deepened
The sunlight slanting through the
           shone more vividly
The sweet hint of fall in the breeze,
           shivered deliciously over that
absolute, naked, alive moment.

                      And then she knew.
she left that garden of drowsy content

She went, awake, into the world.
           Beauty was sharp.
                      Death came looking.

We’ve been covering ourselves
ever since.

We have two choices
           to sink our teeth
           into the flesh of this life
           knowing, in every sweet,
                      sharp moment,
                      that we are naked
                                 and dying

           or to sleep – covered and hidden –
           fading into death.

I long for the sun and wind on my skin
           for the naked touch of your eyes

           for your courage
           to lay aside my covers,
           to rise,
                      and reach
                                 and bite sharply

           into that shattering moment

                                 of knowing.

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8 comments for “That Apple

  1. Judith
    May 16, 2010 at 10:07 am

    thankyouthankyouthankyou.. and to Marilyn ~ for sharing this insight into the awakening of women’s wisdom

  2. May 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    What a beautiful poem! Much to think about. Thanks for sharing it, Cathryn.

  3. marianne
    May 17, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    So incredibly beautiful -and so encouraging! Thank you.

  4. Tess
    June 19, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    It has always astonished me that the story of Eve and the apple is always told as one of her great failure and treason and her translation into temptress and then held responsible for the fall of man. I see the story as one of great courage, of wanting knowledge so much, she defies god – the greatest power – and risks the loss of paradise in exchange for knowing. We have fought this same battle over and over, that some how we must accept less, quiescence and ignorance rather than seeking and fulfilling our own destiny.

  5. June 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Beautiful response, Tess. You’d enjoy meeting the poet, who sinks her “teeth into the flesh of this life” as you do.

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