The Apple Farmer

The Apple Farmer

Stunts Green, Sussex, 19th February, 2024

I met an aged apple farmer
Busy with his work,
His face was gnarled and weather beaten
Like apple-tree bark.

He wore an aged donkey jacket
With the nap rubbed flat,
Green cracked and faded wellingtons
And a woolly hat.

Meticulously he pruned the trees
One by one by one,
Though he had thousands to be tended
He cared for every one.

Secateurs much newer than his clothes
Sharp and shiny bright
Quickly trimming the little shoots
Cutting each one right.

His pruning saw kept close at hand,
Tucked inside his boot
Drawn to remove an offending branch
Then re-sheathed at his foot.

I paused to pass the time of the day,
Asked about the trees,
He pointed out to me which was which
Braeburns and Bramleys.

Very environmentally concerned,
He was keen to talk:
“I’ll never own a car again,
I prefer to walk.”

“We each have our own lives to live,
I’ve my part to play,
Everyone is completely unique
We must live true today.”

I wished him well as I walked away
On into the evening,
He took up his secateurs again,
At peace with his pruning.

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