Louise Bogan (August 11, 1897 – February 4, 1970 / Maine)
The Crossed Apple
I’ve come to give you fruit from out my orchard,
Of wide report.
I have trees there that bear me many apples.
Of every sort:
Clear, streaked; red and russet; green and golden;
Sour and sweet.
This apple’s from a tree yet unbeholden,
Where two kinds meet, -
So that this side is red without a dapple,
And this side’s hue
Is clear and snowy. It’s a lovely apple.
It is for you.
Within are five black pips as big as peas,
As you will find,
Potent to breed you five great apple trees
Of varying kind:
To breed you wood for fire, leaves for shade,
Apples for sauce.
Oh, this is a good apple for a maid,
It is a cross,
Fine on the finer, so the flesh is tight,
And grained like silk.
Sweet Burning gave the red side, and the white
Is Meadow Milk.
Eat it, and you will taste more than the fruit:
The blossom, too,
The sun, the air, the darkness at the root,
The rain, the dew,
The earth we came to, and the time we flee,
The fire and the breast.
I claim the white part, maiden, that’s for me.
You take the rest.
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