The Orchard – Lent Thirty`Five

Jeannine Cook

Jeannine Cook

The little orchard
sits in the greening field
it’s grayed trunks standing stark
even within a graying March day
Last winter’s pruners were severe
cutting back all growth but the old
Now the trees look like the skeletons
the bones of short thick Russian wrestlers
having lost their heads and fore`limbs
If it is still too early for bud and leaf
it certainly is for blossom and fruit
But all good things come in time
Except come September for the
one tree cursed by a Gardener
for being what it was in March
A fruit tree without fruit
in an unfruitful season
The little orchard
symmetrical so long
will have lost its symmetry
Bees will have lost their nectar
Birds the branches for their nests
Old men the sweet fruit of their old age
Only the widow burning bittersweet`scented
apple`wood upon her hearth next winter
will remember the injustices of Nature
will grieve the cruelty of the gods
who with their omniscient glares
who with their inerrant words
have left all this barrenness
behind in the world so as
to teach virtue to fools
faith to the faithless


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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7 Responses to The Orchard – Lent Thirty`Five

  1. So lovely, Peter….written with tender truth <3


  2. ~meredith says:

    Virtue and faith for deep-rooted needs… a naked tree. Beautiful.


  3. shades of Chekhov – even without the Russian wrestlers

    Liked by 1 person

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