Eating an Apple

by Peter

I snatch a store-bought
‘Snack apple’ from the bowl,
Small, red, and tasteless
Like the ones on the tree I’d
Balance on a sloped sapling hand-rail
Stuck in cement stairs on
Our hill to pluck from, but
Without the dusty taste I loved,
Though, yes, so deeply hued.

A bite: brown veins cut
Through the meat.
Mud-soft craters to the stem.

For some reason, all my third grade classmates
Are watching, suddenly, at red lunch recess tables.
They scream and laugh, and the tallest kid
In class, a orange-haired girl who swoons for Spice Girls,
Standing on my picnic bench, grabs
My apple with an “Ew!” and throws it in a bush.
The classmates congratulate her and me
On our near escape from imperfection, mush, and shame
And eat their Cheetos, grinning broad.

Here, in great-grandma Marion’s
Pea-green creaky chair,
Looking at my yard, I grin
And keep on biting.