Baked Apples
by Vaughn Neeld

Someone decided that we,
the younger people,
should experience baked apples.

As snow fell and apples baked,
a delicious smell radiated outward
to snuggle into drafty corners.

Then, the tin cookie sheet,
covered with oozing baked apples,
cooled on the old oak table.

Slumped, orange-red apples
looked as tortured as sun-burned skin;
juice, bubbling from the apples’ ruptures.

I looked and shuddered.

Someone scraped the apples
into cereal bowls—
one for each of us.

It seemed too cruel
to touch spoon
to naked skin.

Cautiously, I tasted the candied juice
leaking from the suffering apple.
I tried to look bedazzled.

I couldn’t.

I pushed the bowl away,
handed back my bowl
of murdered apple.

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