The Apple of My Eye

My dearest autumn.  
As the leaves around me begin to change color as if dipped in paint,
visions of earlier sunsets & wreaths made of blonde wheat adorning front doors dance in my head.  
My fingertips recall the feeling of knit sweaters 
(which are still neatly tucked away, but yearning for a coveted space in my closet)  
& the way they work with my palms shaping dough for the flakiest pie crust, 
saved special for apple pie.  
Yes apples, the quintessential image of autumn. 
There's something wonderful about an outing of apple picking.

You my dear, the apple of my eye.

Cheeks rosy as the ripest McIntosh 
picked by your little hands.

You find joy in the everyday,
crouching to observe rocks on the pathway.

Dodging decaying fruit already half deteriorated into the ground,
you run ahead of us, glancing back occasionally to make sure we're following.

You like to watch daddy climb up the tallest branch
reaching for the fruit attached.
I daydream of in a few years time 
when you spend your afternoons up in the trees,
your imagination spreading as wide as the branches you sit upon.

Will it be a spaceship launching into the black beyond?
Perhaps the squirrels will be alien life forms 
& the birds satellites orbiting above. 

Are you a daring pirate on your trusty oak ship?
Are those acorns cannons that you launch at the grass
turned ocean waves?

My thoughts are cut short by you throwing our fruit into its bag. 
I can't help but smile at daddy's frustration.
Yes, our apples will come home bruised, but each brown spot
is a marked reminder of the day we had together.

Our apples are currently tucked in a bowl awaiting the glorious dishes they'll contribute to.  I'm off to dream of rolling out homemade dough for apple pie, 
savoring the time it takes to hand mash cooked apples for applesauce, 
& the way carrot apple soup will permeate our home 
with the ever welcoming scent of autumn.


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