The Friday Poem on 31/03/23
We chose ‘Apple blossom’ by Jackie Wills to be our Friday Poem this week because it doesn’t put a foot wrong. Subtle half-rhymes chime and echo down its twelve lines – blossom / him, died / shades, thud / end, bring / dying / young – gently weaving the poem together. The apple trees laden with blossom and fruit are delicately described, and the parallels between the trees and the various parents in the poem are beautifully and deftly drawn. We love the poem’s conversational approach, its tone – compassionate, loving, meditative – and the scrap of hope inherent in “old wood doing its best again”. Lovely.
The year Dylan’s mother died
I picked sprays of apple blossom,
wound its pink, off-white shades
in raffia for you to take to him.
Every year it’s out I think of us,
the children, how apples bring
the tree so low, until they thud
to the lawn, drumming the end
of summer. The blossom was heavy
when Dylan’s mother was dying –
old wood doing its best again –
and he, like you, was so young.