View From The Glen

Monday, November 30, 2009

Soundless Golden Bells Alone In The Storm


by Al Purdy

The ruined stone house

has an elderly apple tree

left there by the farmer

whatever else he took with him

It bears fruit every year

gone wild and wormy

with small bitter apples

nobody eats

even children know better

I passed that way on the road

to Trenton twice a month

all winter long

noticing how the apples clung

in spite of hurricane winds

sometimes with caps of snow

little golden bells

And perhaps none of the other

travelers looked that way

but I make no parable of them

they were there and that’s all

for some reason I must remember

and think of the leafless tree

and its fermented fruit

one week in late January

when wind blew down the sun

and earth shook like a cold room

no one could live in

with zero weather

soundless golden bells

alone in the storm

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