Old Apple Tree

by Howard Sage

Through June and half
July, static apple
green outside my window
caught my morning eyes.
Then (I don’t know how) pink began
to tinge and turn the
sour green. I should
have smiled as pink looked
through the leaves at me,
but I watched and watched and
couldn’t find a speck of
joy on all the tree. Although
apples never were my fruit–I pre
fer those more warmly bred–
I never cut or cursed a
ripening branch. Yet, these
busy apples, racing, speed
ing, reddening towards their
fall, made me want to
cry, “Red is death,
Old Apple Tree.”


Howard Sage has taught writing at Texas Southern University and New York University. A magazine he published for ten years won four grants and included in one issue his interview with Ralph Ellison. His Metropolitan Diary contributions have appeared in The New York Times.

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