Women's Voices Against War

Ann Dernier

Well Past Ripening

Think of the apple trees

In Vermont,

The Eden we found

Up the long road

Beyond the beaver's dam.

A forest cleared

For the lodge-pole home,

Stuccoed from the river's bottom.

Close enough,

Electrifying the hair on our arms,

We spoke only of nature.

We bent below apple trees

Skirted by dropped fruit

Well past ripening in the wild grasses.

Something swung open.

Not the sound of cicadas

But some summer hum

Colored in the background.

The creek, widened by snow melt,

Mumbled a song we knew.

The moon refolded the map

Along the creases.

Just over the hemline

Of the tree skirt, we lay our blanket.

We painted each other with our water-

Colors and let them dry.

The wind that had remained

Just outside the circle, moved in

And an orchard of brances began waving -

Waving goodbye.