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The Apple
Grace Hughes Chappell


Among the laden boughs
in a pocket of leaves--
unaware of its comeliness
or of the raindrops on its cheeks
innocent of its own gold juice
this one nestled.

I had watched it--every sister-apple, too--
from white-flower
swaddling to full particularity:
in the quiet of evening, in the rush of noon-
work, ever there against all comers,
our destinies joined.

Not at all the Lord God’s experience as
he walked out in the cool of a long-ago garden
with his pet, the subtle serpent, warning the caretakers:
One bite of this fruit and you’re out!
His garden bounded by flaming swords and
not like mine at all, no gates needing mending, no deer
proof fences. Only swords and angels there,
nakedness amongst the trees of the garden:
“Only dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life,”
and “Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return.”

I have eaten good and evil:
like Eve brought forth children, seen sorrows multiplied;
I know about dust, the kind that falls down for me to sweep,
the kind I have to eat, and the dust unto which
I shall return.I have strewn such dust upon a small river.

Yet, the thought of an apple arrived to me at my desk
on a raining October morning the word was made flesh
and this one apple, for pleasure,
rounded all thoughts
to an instant of ripeness


© by Grace Hughes Chappell.
Used with the author’s permission.



Grace Hughes Chappell says, over the years, she’s been a mom, a daughter, and a sister, has taken care of ‘things’ (house repairs, car repairs, relationship repairs), worked as a private tutor, an English teacher, a travel agent, a receptionist, a telephone book delivery-person, a house cleaner, a reader to the visually impaired, a caterer, a snow-shoveler, and a writer. Her work is widely published and she is the author of ten mile creek almanac. For 50-some years, Grace and her husband, Don, have lived in northern California, in Mendocino County, and in San Francisco but, as of 2024, they have relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to be near family. Grace's advice for a good life is to be kind, enjoy your family and friends, don’t be a drag (laugh a lot, sing, dance, do anything
that involves music), read a lot, learn to cook a decent meal, watch sunsets and birds and dogs, find something to do for which you have some aptitude, then be willing to work hard at it!

Post New Comment:
Well! What an astounding poem on an apple!
Posted 10/27/2015 08:22 PM
This was a nice treat - read while waiting (impatiently) for my own thoughts to ripen. - Carlos
Posted 10/27/2015 05:01 PM
Beautifully captured and shared. Bravo!
Posted 10/27/2015 10:07 AM
Glen Sorestad:
What a fine October morning read! Bravo, Grace.
Posted 10/27/2015 10:03 AM
Oh, absolutely gorgeous! I love the "pocket of leaves." And then the religious lines!!! Great job. And now, Jayne, you have helped me discover another wonderful poet, and Grace, my maiden name is Hughes!!
Posted 10/27/2015 09:49 AM
Larry Schug:
I can't tell you how much I love this poem, having written many poems on the same subject. the whole story of Eve, an apple, a serpent, good and evil, god, speaks so much of the muse and what an open mind can come up with. That's not to mention how wonderfully written is this poem.
Posted 10/27/2015 08:03 AM
"From white-flower swaddling to full particularity"... This apple rounded all thoughts to an instant of ripeness"... how an apple can inspire such depth, such profound appreciation, reflection, art, and awe. I taste its exquisiteness, its temptation.. I also love that every paragraph is round. Grace.
Posted 10/27/2015 07:51 AM
Stunning in poetic profoundness! thank-you for sharing.
Posted 10/27/2015 06:32 AM
Linda Anger:
Brava, Grace Hughes Chappell!
Posted 10/27/2015 05:25 AM
Posted 10/27/2015 02:40 AM

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