You don’t sing any more, or chatter.
Weather doesn’t matter.
It is important to keep the apple bag straps flat,
most important to lift with your thighs.
What does pain matter?
Hands the color of uncured ham,
ass cold in the wet jeans,
feet cold with water from frosted grass
seeping through cheap cracked boots.
You keep trying to think about war
and Wall Street, troubles of your friends.
You keep trying to pray.
All you can pray is apple, apple, apple;
all you can think is one at a time, one more.
Twiggy remains of goldfinch nests
are bound with trellis twine.
Leaves fall into your bag.
Snowgeese blow away
on the first sharp north wind.
You don’t pick for money
or pleasure or fruit,
you pick because it’s there,
because the crop must come in.