Stealing Apples from the Giant's Garden R.G. Evans Poetry

local_library Stealing Apples from the Giant’s Garden

by R.G. Evans

Published in Issue No. 158 ~ July, 2010

All the children in
this story are dead.

Forgive them: they
won’t know it

until they are your age
now or older.

They tell each other
tales about the giant,

dare each other to
touch his apple trees,

to fill their pockets
with the sour fruit

that softens and browns
in piles upon the ground,

yellow jackets buzzing,
autumn fragrant.

When one takes the
dare, he feels the pull of safety

behind him, as if he’s
harnessed to a great rubber band

stretched to its limit
as his fingers grab an apple—

then it’s Hurry!
Hurry quick! out of the garden,

the giant’s breath on
the back of his neck

(although the giant
never chases him,

although there is no
giant, and maybe

no trees nor fruit nor
garden nor other children

waiting for him to
return with his prize).

When they open their
fingers, panting,

not one child has ever
seen the giant’s apple,

a dream so real they
can touch it until they wake.

Yet this is what they
remember now that they are dead,

when a warm November
wind full of orchard

and fruit-falls dares
them to believe that they’re alive:

one stony apple,
wizened as a shrunken head,

its weight true in
their hands which seem suddenly

small and pink and

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R.G. Evans's poems, fiction and reviews have appeared in Valparaiso Poetry Review, MARGIE, The Literary Review, and Weird Tales among other publications. His original music will be featured in an upcoming documentary on the poet Maria Mazziotti Gillan. Evans holds an MFA from Fairleigh Dickinson University and is proud to be serving in his 27th year as a public school teacher in New Jersey.