We built the back fence over summers, years, and when we were done, there it was, past the sandbox and the fire pit, nestled in like a tucked pillow behind the apple trees.
Those two apple trees, they were just like our fence building: never consistent, never both giving up fruit at the same time, always one bare one not, each taking turns not doing much.
But the summer we moved away both of the trees burst into bold green leaves, both bore tiny apple babies on their skinny branches, so many the branches bowed. It’s like the trees were saying in fruit tree language, “hey! we can do this! see? stay! stay!”
But we left anyway.
We always thought we’d chase you around the yard, and you’d forget about the bees, dart behind the trees, and we’d pretend we couldn’t see you. We’d eat some apples off the ground, call as we walked back “Come inside because it’s getting chilly,” a laugh. Bake an apple pie and carry its warmth next door, leave brown bags of apples on porches.
Then it’d be winter. And you’d come back from college or wherever and we’d glance outside from the kitchen and see you walking back there, slow, bending low to pick up an apple.