The Wayward Orchard / Paul Sohar

About the Author

Sunfish Pond
Requiem for a Refugee Camp
Summer Past
The Geese Were Gone
• The Wayward Orchard 
Mount Katahdin
A Tour Without Virgil
The Ravished
My Dream House
The God of Spring
The (Last) Party
The Secret
The Other
This Wall
Little Night Music
Being and Its Skin
Grandma’s Silence
The Ruler of the Mirror
The Silent Dreamer
Keep It Simple
Canyon Dreams



The Wayward Orchard

The fire trail is a dried-up umbilical cord
I almost have to hold it in my hands to find
this valley, an orchard of wayward apple trees,
bulging with blushing roundness,
silently sucking up the august sun;

they’re too full for the wind to play on,
their story is told by the hesitant twangs
of the maple, about someone who came here
long before me and made this valley his bed,
probably read his destiny as spelled out in
the clouds by the same old wind…

Maybe he died here under the apple trees
whose gifts bulge now only for the deer,
and the deer fatten themselves for the hunt…

I bring nothing to the valley and
take away nothing but the story of
someone who long ago buried his passion
for living in this valley and then buried himself,
here, where his wayward daughters
still bulge with passion…

It’s someone else’s ballad,
yet I can feel the earth pulling on my feet,
roots that feed me with the sap of fables,
the company of old friends
I don’t even have to know.

Sometimes I, too, lie here dead and get reborn
with apples in my hands…

  © Paul Sohar, 2011


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