The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday and Patuxent Region

A Short History of the Apple
By Dorianne Laux

The crunch is the thing, a certain joy in crashing through
living tissue, a memory of Neanderthal days.
   —Edward Bunyard, The Anatomy of Dessert, 1929

Teeth at the skin. Anticipation.
Then flesh. Grain on the tongue.
Eve's knees ground in the dirt
of paradise. Newton watching
gravity happen. The history
of apples in each starry core,
every papery chamber's bright
bitter seed. Woody stem
an infant tree. William Tell
and his lucky arrow. Orchards
of the Fertile Crescent. Bushels.
Fire blight. Scab and powdery mildew.
Cedar apple rust. The apple endures.
Born of the wild rose, of crab ancestors.
The first pip raised in Kazakhstan.
Snow White with poison on her lips.
The buried blades of Halloween.
Budding and grafting. John Chapman
in his tin pot hat. Oh Westward
Expansion. Apple pie. American
as. Hard cider. Winter banana.
Melt-in-the-mouth made sweet
by hives of Britain's honeybees:
white man's flies. O eat. O eat.


Our plan for Saturday was to pick Daniel up from College Park in the afternoon so he could be home for Rosh Hashanah dinner on Sunday, but since Maryland was playing UConn in the afternoon, we knew we needed to avoid the football traffic. So we went to the Patuxent Research Refuge, which was having a Harvest Honey Festival with bees and candle-making, where we also walked around to see the amphibians and birds (sadly the beavers were not in evidence). Then we went to Savage, which has both an 1869 iron train bridge over the river and the ruins of an 1822 cotton mill.

Bees swarm around their hive at the Harvest Honey Festival at Patuxent Wildlife Refuge.

In the nature center, many varieties of honey and beeswax products were on display and for sale.

We saw many southern leopard frogs in the water around the park (including one being caught and eaten by a snake, waah).

And we saw an egret, a green heron, Canada geese, and many smaller frogs and toads in the lakes.

This is the last surviving Bollman iron truss bridge, invented in Baltimore...

...though the railroad, important during the Civil War, has not run over it for decades.

The tracks run directly by the ruins of Savage Mill...

...on the banks of the Little Patuxent River.

We picked up Daniel in the late afternoon, picked up pizza on the way home, and had dinner while Adam went out with his girlfriend and another couple for Indian food. Those of us in the house watched Doctor Who (which bored me -- Amy blurting in monotone lines that Rose or Martha would have delivered with emotional nuance and Donna with real anger, while Eleven tried and failed to reach Ten's level of pathos from "The Waters of Mars," in a predictable story that felt ripped from the original Battlestar Galactica). Then we watched the Relic Hunter Crazy Feminist Goddess Worship episode, which was good for a laugh!

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