After Apples by Dan Behrens October twenty-eight— My father’s birthday, After the Whitetail high hunt, Town’s holiday harvest lighting, A first frost on our Orchard grass. After apples. Dinner. A few cards. The annual end we all know Apart from my one recurring dream Of dad falling from a picking ladder— Ribs breaking. Gasping. Pointing me the pasture’s length To Corrigan’s and a phone. Only nine. Confused. Crazed. Poised for flight Like a mass of Mule Deer Scattered among the trees, among The sharp Fall frost, erect And peering into all that gathers us Into ourselves, like an inevitable diagnosis After all our apples have fallen to the ground.