The radio reports there are no
apples this year, so you drive
to the closest orchard and ask
for apples. I would like to buy apples.
When the man at the chained gate
tells you there are none, you say:
I want apples. You tell him
there have always been apples.
Fifty-seven years of apples.
He tells you to drive west
two thousand miles. You’ll find apples
there, just down the road
from here. He says if you’d died
in surgery as expected, you would
not be without apples this year.
A perfect record.
Maybe he didn’t say those words
exactly, but you knew
he was thinking them
as he walked away to where he keeps
shelves of canned halves, the ones
he saved for a year like this.
Copyright © Dani Couture. Originally published in Listen Before Transmit (Wolsak & Wynn, 2018).
Dani Couture is the author of four collections of poetry and the novel Algoma (Invisible Publishing). Her work has been nominated for the Trillium Award for Poetry, received an honour of distinction from the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBTQ Writers and won the ReLit Award for Poetry. Her most recent collection of poetry is Listen Before Transmit (Wolsak & Wynn, 2018).
See the League’s 2019 Book Awards Shortlists here.