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Apple Pie Order
by
Rachel Dacus


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The hands that cut the apple
are white-fleshed as the silence
between us in the kitchen. Her sob
of breath. Cotton cloths, simple tasks.
Her hands skin and delve
a pale core from each green globe,
slice smiles and drop
them in the dough’s lap.

My mother’s hands soothe my forehead,
tug and tuck corners, tails, hairs
and sheets. Shove me forward, hold me back.
From their towel-wrapped rigor,
I know cradle and slap. Above
their industry I feel the tears.
For fear of seeing fear
in her, I watch the hands

Make a small, safe corner
for sweet flesh to be sectioned,
layered, sugared, snugged
under thin-rolled crust.
She always knows what comes next.
Her short, round fingers make do,
patch holes, keep going,
though nicked, scraped and scalded.
Ten trudging dough-faced soldiers,
rosebuds furled in flour-scented might.

From Femme Au Chapeau (David Robert Books, 2005)
Copyright by Rachel Dacus.
Used with the author’s permission.

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Rachel Dacus lives in San Francisco. On the staff of the Alsop Review and a contributing poetry editor for Umbrella (www.umbrellajournal.com), she is the author of three poetry collections and her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies. When not writing poetry, she raises funds for nonprofit organizations. Learn more about her at www.dacushome.com and http://dacusrocket.blogspot.com.


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