apple picking the first week of october is tradition

apple picking the first week of october
is tradition, that hard cider scent
warmed by sun just enough
to lure bees to buzz drunk above orchard grass.  we pick
buckets full of mcintosh, still hard on the tree, but blushing
to baking softness in a week, sweet but with a tart
that draws mouths into smiles involuntarily.

the first year i pulled my son behind me
in a wagon with the apples, he held each one like a gift.
later, peeling them, each he held had two tiny tooth marks
like vampire kisses just breaking the skin.
he teethed on apples, evidence I removed
with  a paring knife and a smile.

fall apples: heady and smelling already of pies
and cinnamon, sauce and the potpourri drift of spiced rings
in the dehydrator, the last fruit we harvest before november
sinks its teeth in, and those teeth bite deeper
than apple skin.

***at Dverse today, we are writing about fall foods.  You know I had to choose apples.

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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58 Responses to apple picking the first week of october is tradition

  1. Ooooh, apples! I can smell that cinnamon apple tart from here – with custard I hope! I love the image of your son teething on apples too.

  2. Green Speck says:

    This was filled with sugary sweetness :-)

  3. brian miller says:

    he teethed on apples…how cute is that? smiles….we used to have an orchard near us and took the boys picking their first couple years…we will go pumpkin picking soon…i love cider though….cool piece…

  4. unfetteredbs says:

    when you write about the goodness of the earth.. there is such a “comfort” that emits from your life Susan. I like to “watch” and join along as I read

  5. We did apple picking last year…it was too much apples though for weeks on end ~

    I do like the idea of your son teething on the apples ~ This smells delicious and warm ~

  6. That is so cute, to have teeth marks in the apples..lol
    I love apple pie with cinnamon and cream …gosh.. made my mouth water at the thought of it. This is such a lovely read Susan…I could see you pulling your boy along in a wagon as you collect apples :)
    We had three apple trees in the yard where we used to live, two were green/yellow apples and the other was a red apple tree. Wish I had been a cook, we’d have had a lot of apple dishes …lol

  7. festivalking says:

    lol! @ your angel’s vampire kiss … lovely piece! :)

  8. Love this poem – a wonderful tradition to share – my sister in law brought me a sack full of apples from her tree last week. Heres to October apple picking and many pies, cakes, sauces and muffins! K

  9. My poor taste buds! I have this sweet-sour taste in my mouth. Your use of descriptive imagery is EXCELLENT! I loved the reference to teeth and biting; made me think of that moment when you puncture the skin of an apple and take away its’ breath. A really warm piece. You’re such a pro! :)

  10. One of those memories that all year supermarket food can take away unless you only buy what’s in local season. As a child before supermarkets we grew our own apples and picked in Autumn. What wasn’t used for jam or apple pies were wrapped in newspaper and stored in the dark. Wrinkled but with crunch still they could last to spring!

  11. Mary says:

    What a lovely idea, to write about apple picking. I love visiting apple orchards in fall. Nothing like the crunch of a VERY crisp apple. You mentioned Macs. I like them too. Love that first tangy bite!

  12. nice…we usually go apple picking in the orchard as well…it’s almost like a short holiday when the weather is nice…cute with your son and happy baking..hmmm

  13. It is all there: the texture of the season; the sounds; the moisture and dryness of the air; the very present, determined bees. I like how the poems sounds like a conversation or chorus of the characters and elements you are writing about. It’s almost as though the speaker is talking in medias res.

    • Thanks, Jeremy–yes–the poem came to me as if I was right in the middle of it all, even though it was last week I picked the apples. Thanks much for liking this & the comment.

  14. Beautifully written. Love the imagery, now I want some apples.

  15. kaykuala says:

    The bite marks of your son is reminiscent of the same that I remember. It’s so much fun to munch at leisure.Nicely Susan!

    Hank

  16. Serena says:

    What a sweet poem. I especially liked “he held each one like a gift.
    later, peeling them, each he held had two tiny tooth marks
    like vampire kisses just breaking the skin.”… lovely image.

  17. nelle says:

    Such a distinctive season, so visual, so aromatic, so well captured in your words.

  18. Http://lkharris-Kolp.blogspot.com says:

    I just came from another one about apples… they are my favorites.

  19. jmgoyder says:

    Oh this made me remember my childhood years in Canada!

  20. brebry says:

    You paint such a delicious picture! And I include the baby in the deliciousness.

  21. janehewey says:

    “lure bees” i keep saying it over and over. it’s true. i, too, am lured by this. the cinnamon and apple combination. deliciously teeth-baring!

  22. Mohana says:

    Can already smell christmas flavors here, Susan. Loved this poem.

  23. David King says:

    like vampire kisses just breaking the skin.
    he teethed on apples, evidence I removed
    with a paring knife and a smile.

    Just a sample of the the fine word-crafting here.

  24. Sabio Lantz says:

    Biting deeper ! Well penned. Nice images. thanx

  25. Julie Laing says:

    What a great memory of your son! I could just see him sitting in that wagon, sampling every fruit. I always pick fall apples from friends’ trees for large batches of applesauce that I substitute for oil in everything I bake the rest of the year, so I know all about those drunken bees. Great write.

    • Susan L Daniels says:

      Thanks, Julie. I can still see those 2 tiny teethmarks. How funny that a 13-month-old with those timy teeth would try to take on a wagon-full of apples ;)

  26. Wonderful imagery and great play on words. ‘November sinking its teeth in’

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