Never May the Fruit Be Picked
Never, never may the fruit be plucked from the bough And gathered into barrels. He that would eat of love must eat it where it hangs. Though the branches bend like reeds, Though the ripe fruit splash in the grass or wrinkle on the tree, He that would eat of love may bear away with him Only what his belly can hold, Nothing in the apron, Nothing in the pockets. Never, never may the fruit be gathered from the bough And harvested in barrels. The winter of love is a cellar of empty bins, In an orchard soft with rot.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on February 23, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.