Roots, Worms, and Blossoms: for Maureen

laura-johnston-apple blossom

Roots, Worms, and Blossoms

How will the promise of age
rest upon my skin?
As it does the forgotten apple?
The sad Macintosh left under a tree
withered and no good for a pie?
Will time brand me with pinches
smudge my shiny skin
and deplete my rightful size?

Or will I be the old woman
who wears her wrinkles like a crown?
A Golden Delicious, showing off
her spots like jewels, each scar
a story of a tree in full bloom?
Of a glorious day basking
in the royal September sun?

Or will I be the Granny Smith
deep green and so, so crisp,
too tart to taste, alone
at the top of a narrow branch
where nobody will climb
to soften my goose bumps
or ease winter’s brisk lines?

The little Pippin?
Shrunken and silly
fallen twice from the bushel
bruised and never to bubble
in a perfectly browned dessert
but perfectly happy to rest
next to a sandwich
in some schoolboy’s crumpled lunch bag
underneath his desk?

Maybe as an old woman,
I will just sit on a dusty shelf
aging like spice whispering
my cinnamon stories
offering fragrant rhymes,
remembering roots, worms and blossoms
and waiting quietly for my time.

Happy Birthday, Maureen.

image by Laura Johnson

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