The Significance of Apple
Apple is as apple does—a working fruit
keeping doctors away, shines in a lover’s eye,
moderates kraut’s sauer, and provides
cinnamon a permanent place to wallow.
Rolling out of children’s half-hitched backpacks down
terrazzo hallways in the Midwest, its tight little body
fits snugly alongside its neighbor, reclining together
on rickety roadside fruit stands in the South.
In the twenties, Big Apple with its vacant brick-mortar stare
capitalized itself as a stand-out, snubbing and rubbing
noses in its self-anointed grandeur, an outlier back then when
humbling oneself still counted as virtue.
Unchecked vainglory diminishes itself, and starts to rot from the inside out.
Then there’s pandowdy, a word with no etymology – it can’t be derived.
That’s why you get to make apple pandowdy as you like it:
a dozen of those finely blemished, lowercase apples
swashed in cinnamon, molasses and maple syrup
tucked in an overused skillet, bubbling up.
Things do bubble up when one has free rein;
the deep-red delicious careens along school hallways
where jagged fissures on terrazzo floors
under the weight of cleats and galoshes,
run counter to the design
like kids racing toward their dreams.