I will eat the apple
read Stephen’s note this morning.
He is volunteering to play Eve.
He wrote, I will eat the apple
—but there are no apples in the house.
We have no lascivious Honeycrisp,
no bonny Braeburn, no upright Baldwin.
We’re out of spry Granny Smiths,
the skulking Northern Spy,
or the mysterious Pink Lady.
Stephen does have an Adam’s apple
and I have an Apple computer,
but you can’t compare apples and oranges.
The note said, I will eat the apple.
Perhaps Stephen’s chasing out the doctors.
Perhaps he’s not falling far from the tree.
Or he’s already eaten from the tree of knowledge:
in Latin, malum means both apple
and evil. I think Stephen is sending a warning.
He means, I will protect you.
He writes, I will eat the apple.
Copyright © 2017 by Kim Roberts. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 10, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.
“This poem really did start with a cryptic text message from my housemate. But I was thinking, as well, of the forbidden fruit in the Genesis story that tradition suggests was an apple, but scholars now suggest was more likely an apricot.”