Lockdown Day 6

Apple and Blackberry Pie

Early autumn
I scavenge for the last of the blackberries
The biggest and ripest
You know you will get scratched
But those berries, the colour
Their juiciness, taunting
Eat me, but I bite
Small sharp thorns that burrow into the skin
Blood mingling with the purple juice
Stained hands

The apples on the ground are rotting
Codling moths invaded them
long before they left the tree
The rot set in early
One bad apple
The worm works from the inside out
Some apples look perfect
Until you cut them open and the core is brown and mushy
and full of moth excrement
Be wary of biting the perfect fruit

We shake the tree
bring them down
All the bad apples
rolling away over the grass
Camouflaged in wet leaves
red and gold and yellow
And wood smoke in the air
But I gather them all
Every single one
is going under the knife

I peel and chop and gouge out the rot and scabs
Remove the mushy core
Until I have a huge pile of decay
ready for the compost heap
There it can flourish and nourish new life
Next years codling moth larvae
Cydia pomonella the worm in the apple
Bad to the core
And yet there is a small pan
of perfect unblemished flesh

The pan of stewing apples smells heavenly
caramel toasty vanilla
And the blackberries, oh the colour!
And cinnamon
My crust for once is beautiful
Light and just the right amount of crispy
The pies are delicious
I eat three straight from the oven
A burned tongue

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