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Apple Pie Order
Rachel Dacus


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)
Used with the author's permission.


Rachel Dacus is the author of six novels and four poetry collections. Raised in a family that appreciated art, science, and music, the topics of her books span a broad spectrum--from time travel to being a rocket scientist's daughter during the race-to-space 1950s. Rachael lives with her husband and silky terrier in the San Francisco area of California. Learn more about her at

Post New Comment:
Strong poem, strong ending: Ten trudging dough-faced soldiers, rosebuds furled in flour-scented might.
Posted 10/24/2014 12:05 AM

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