APPLE TREE PRAYER



Tough, goitered, pin-whorled survivor apple tree,
tangled in the paddock fence, by-blow of an apple core
tossed from a passing car;
tutelary genius of the road’s verge;
ancient Adam, Apulian Priapus
guarding the sheep, lecherous roots dug down
with all of the malevolence of one
that well knows that he is an accidental
bastard and refuses to go anywhere.
The few hard little balls in his branches are
tart acid green, dull red, frantic as beating hearts,
not even good for cooking or jelly.
God of troublesome apple trees, grant me
the tenaciousness of that squat, scratchy goblin
offering up his withered, wizened,

sour, stomach-ache fruit that no one will buy.

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