When Picking an Apple

by Kristina Woodhill

To contemplate her own apple experience
meant gazing again into deceptive reptilian eyes,
hearing sibilant come-hither words,
fixating on and fingering tentatively
that which is denied,
flinching inwardly remembering
a garden gate being slammed, locked shut


Curious teeth bite
tactile firm fruit,
exploding juice onto her tongue
Reflexive lips smacking,
hand wiping sticky chin,
cautiously catching sweet droplets

Palm to tongue
a reclaiming,
learning that flavor,
memorizing sensations,
apple peel teeth-pierced,
white-fleshed fruit resisting,
giving, crunching,
crisp, a drench of sweet liquid

“Oh! Oh! Oh!”

Small hard inner objects
seminal? critical?
eat or discard?

Eagerly licked palm reveals


shortening life line,


with pricking pain

A sickening in the stomach
a womb waiting to swell
a birthing scream toward high heaven

Flickers of light
beyond that original gate,
beyond that vital first light

Light to colors
colors to shapes
shapes with depth
depth imparts

Her new kaleidoscope world dazzles,
she would not turn back if she could



Author's Note: Submitted to The Cabin Boise for their annual anthology - theme: Apple. Accepted! Hurray!

Posted on 07/07/2020
Copyright © 2022 Kristina Woodhill

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 07/08/20 at 02:31 PM

Refreshingly delicious poem, Kristina. Personally, I usually cut off the skin, and just eat the pulp underneath. Congrats also on acceptance in the anthology!

Posted by Johanna May on 07/14/20 at 01:27 AM

Love all the symbols in this, and the feisty courage in the end.

Posted by Laura Doom on 07/17/20 at 11:31 PM

Not surprising your seed of an idea met approval Kristina. I can taste the juices flowing.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 09/08/20 at 08:21 PM

Thank you, Kristina for this lovely ode. There is much to mull and much to chew and much to savor here. Reading this, one can see why it merits its place in the anthology. I am certain that purchasers of such will be fortunate to have endeavored upon such as will be a joy to read for years to come.

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