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Elizabeth (Mimi) Danson was born in India, spent her early childhood in China, and ultimately was educated in England. During her adult (United States) life, Danson has taught language skills to children, worked in publishing, and administered an arts center. Her precise and sensuous writing has been featured in U.S. 1 Worksheets, The New Review, Fourth Genre, Anon One, and other publications.



Apple Trees

Along the no-man's-land beside the rails
and in the woods that border the canal
late April finds old apple trees in bloom
at random, scattered much too thinly
to be the survivors of ancient orchards,
and mostly with no sign of cellar hole
or the abandoned lilacs that might once
have been planted around an outhouse.

No, these rise above nothing noteworthy--
stretches of skunk cabbage, dried-up mud,
or swamp in a wet spring, weedy saplings
that show how high the last floodwaters rose
by clinging to their stoles of twiggy mess,
intertwined with plastic bags, fishing lures,
dead cattails and the sort of rubbishy loot
a large untidy bird might build a nest with.

I like to think of the man who dug the canal
or laid the rails for a pittance, in muck
and shale, through rock and river bottom,
pausing to munch the apple given him
by a farmer's daughter he'd smiled at
in the last settlement they passed, or else
by the boss to mark a mile achieved
ahead of schedule, and tossing away the core.

From The Luxury of Obstacles. Copyright Elizabeth Danson.

© Ragged Sky Press