To Life

Old apple tree
	branches gnarled,
you are awakening in the Spring
-- again
	leaves leafing and
	pretty pink buds appearing
	promising blooms and fruits ...

Just to be uncared for
	and grow and never ripen
to be wormy and drop off
	and rot on the ground --
a messy, smelly nuisance

But the worms and bugs
	-- and soil --
they partake of your unvalued fruit
rejoicing in you, your beauty, and your promise --
as old and gnarled as you are

Old apple tree
	branches gnarled,
sleeping in the Winter gray
-- again
	quiet as death
	alive as the womb

©1993, 1999, John A. Mills
Published in In Just One Day; Poetry Today; p. 161