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Indecision among the apple-trees.

I have a garden to maintain: More of an orchard, really. It's far from Eden Though the serpent's lurking Somewhere quite close, I know. I prune the trees, Never too sure, after all this time Which one's the Tree of Life And which The repository of Knowledge And which ones Are simply ordinary apple trees. So you see my dilemma -- I can't eat any of them. The apples form, ripen and drop And the ground is strewn with their debris And the air is filled With the sweetness of their rotting. Drunken wasps abound. I labour on, raking the rotten fruit Into putrid piles. If only I knew Which tree was which I could avoid the fateful one, And use the rest -- I could be sitting oblivious, Like these wasps, Thirst slaked with sweet cider, Or biting into That red one over there, Juice dribbling down my chin, The crisp flesh Satisfying my shrunken taste-buds. But as it is, all is waste. I rake and shovel and clear the ground. My compost heaps are legendary. On the whole, I'm happy. I keep myself very busy. I have to. I have an orchard to maintain.
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Author:Gidney, Pam
Publication:Contemporary Review
Date:Jul 1, 1992
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