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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 doughís lap.

My motherís 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 authorís permission.


Rachel Dacus is a poet, writer, and fundraising consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her books include the recent Gods of Water and Air (poetry, prose, and drama) and the collections Earth Lessons and Femme au Chapeau. She has written on many topics, from time travel to being a rocket scientist's daughter during the race-to-space 1950s. Learn more about Rachel at


Post New Comment:
nice poem
Posted 10/24/2014 10:54 AM
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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