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Apple Butter
by
Signe Eklund Schaefer


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So much on the list to do
but the apples keep calling
a bumper crop from our own little tree
shiny red and sour
no worms or bruises
Use us they keep whispering
donít treat us like you did the basil
waiting past prime
and so in spite of other weighty tasks
I begin to cut and simmer
and turn the old neglected mill
Itís apple butter I want
a taste from childhood
more special than sauce

As I sieve off seeds and skin
I remember long ago jam making days
fifty pots of blackberries
from beloved English hedgerows
picked as a family
all of us purple lipped
Once as I stirred the giant pot
my five year old
bounced in with a question
Mommy, what is God really and heaven?
I just kept stirring
buying time to reply
She looked so serious
then suddenly reflected with a grin
I guess itís one of those mysteries
Before I could catch my breath
she bounded from the kitchen
back to whatever she was playing
when God popped in

Stirring the apple butter now
that question goes round and round
sweet mystery
and sustenance for another day


© by Signe Eklund Schaefer.
Used with the authorís permission.


Signe Eklund Schaefer's articles and poems have appeared in several anthologies and journals and she is the author of four books, most recently, I Give You My Word - Women’s Letters as Life Support, 1973-1987. Signe has lived and taught in many different countries, always pondering the mysteries of human life and development. Now retired, she has rediscovered the joy of inviting poems to express daily moments and memories. Signe lives in western Massachusetts with her husband of more than 50 years.

 

 

 

 

 


Post New Comment:
barbsteff:
Delightful. I have happy memories of my mother making apple butter, so this poem plugs into that. Love the "God popped in" line.
Posted 10/22/2019 04:10 PM
Wilda Morris:
A beautiful poem. "God popped in."
Posted 10/22/2019 11:06 AM


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