I used to think if I ate an apple core, a tree would grow in my belly
A pip nestles in my stomach,
finds a fertile space to settle.
show signs of growth.
I send down much needed water.
It craves sunbeams
and other apple saplings –
at what point does it become a tree?
They say an apple tree can take 20 years to grow full size.
I have these lines
and blemishes on my face.
Lemon trees can develop needing
only a little light. An apple tree cannot mature without
sunlight. My body obliges. As I fall asleep, I feel the bark forming.
I can feel the branches
rustling around my lungs.
I coughed yesterday: a leaf appeared.
The roots irritate my knees; I woke this morning
and moved too quickly leaving a crick in my neck –
I could hear my twigs snapping. Appetite slows as more apples fruit.
My skin feels thicker,
rougher. Teenagers often visit,
spend their afternoons kissing under
my cover, carve their initials into my torso
before they depart. My head feels hazy, I struggle
to peer through the blossom in my eyes. I will keep them
closed today. They say apple trees can live for over 100 years – 36,500 days.
Stephen Daniels is editor of Amaryllis Poetry. His poetry is published in numerous magazines and websites. His debut pamphlet ‘Tell mistakes I love them’ (V. Press) was published in 2017, his second pamphlet will be published in 2018 (Paper Swans Press).www.stephenkirkdaniels.com