An apple in Munich
I think a red apple won’t be good enough.
A red apple plucked from a bowl on a luxury
river cruise liner, carried in my bag for two days.
An apple cratered on board in Passau,
placed in the industrial deep freeze and displayed
five days later in a white china bowl somewhere in rural Hungary.
And then plucked by me, craving fresh fruit
after days of rich six-course meals.
But it languishes in the bowl in my cabin.
Until, packed, looking around, I grab it,
stuff it in my travel bag.
You never know when you’ll get hungry at airports,
said an elderly woman on board.
We fly from Budapest to Munich.
Catch a train to the city centre.
It’s a cool spring, but the city streets, flanked by
history and beggars, are still full of strolling Germans.
It won’t be good enough, will he take it?
I ask the Scotsman with me. Surely he’d prefer money?
But the Scotsman takes it, gives it to the beggar
huddled in a doorway and without hesitation
the beggar, not even looking up, bites hungrily
into the fruit, devouring it quickly, desperately,
without words of debate.
- First published at www.southernrainpoetry.com, no longer available online.