Apples of Winter
by Lois Parker Edstrom

They hang on the trees
in the deep of winter. Once crisp,
and red as Sleeping Beauty's lips
they are a fairy tale drama.

They do not fall, they are not picked.
Neglected, they are left to rot
until what is brown and soft
seeps away. This could be the end
of the story.

But, the prince of the north had arrived
earlier and, unnoticed, touched the apples
with the passion of winter, encasing
their smooth surfaces in ice.

What we know of certainty slipped away
with the juices of decay. Now exact
icy replicas dangle from the trees—
ghost apples—ethereal vessels of light.
Too perfect for this world.  

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