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By Elizabeth Spires

From flowering gnarled trees

they come, weighing down

the branches, dropping

with a soft sound onto

the loamy ground. Falling

and fallen. That’s a pome.


Common as an apple. Or

more rare. A quince or pear.

A knife paring away soft skin

exposes tart sweet flesh.

And deeper in, five seeds in a core

are there to make more pomes.


Look how it fits in my hand.

What to do? What to do?

I could give it to you.

Or leave it on the table

with a note both true and untrue:

Ceci n’est pas un poème.


I could paint it as a still life,

a small window of light

in the top right corner

(only a dab of the whitest white),

a place to peer in and watch it

change and darken as pomes will do.


O I remember days….

Climbing the branches of a tree

ripe and heavy with pomes.

Taking whatever I wanted.

There were always enough then.

Always enough.


Source: Poetry (November 2012)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Living

Poet Bio

Elizabeth Spires
Elizabeth Spires was born in Lancaster, Ohio,  and was educated at Vassar College and Johns Hopkins University. Spires is the author of several volumes of poetry, including Now the Green Blade Rises and The Wave-Maker. She lives with her husband and daughter in Baltimore, Maryland, where she teaches at Goucher College.

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