Do apples have hearts - of course apples have hearts - if you define heart the way I and Emily Dickinson do. Watering the rhubarb each morning after haying the horses becomes a ritual, like thumbing a hymnal, and I earn something out there in full view of the world, loving the scraggly plants as if I were their child or vice-versa. I remember filling truck beds with lumber, I remember carrying calves on my lap in the pickup, and I remember the many deaths in those days, each like eating a long road through the world so that nobody would have to travel it again. Robins in the front yard at dawn tearing words - I mean worms - from mossy soil. One by one the petals of authorial tulips fall to the earth, a message to the revolution: don't lose hope. I stack quartz - white and rose - on the stump of the recently felled cherry tree, inventing forgiveness and its offspring joy the only way I know. One wants what they cannot have, and has what they cannot give away without becoming a Father of Pain. Oh I know how carefully one opens the coffin after, I know what it's like to peer into that cave.
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