Heart of Apple

Once, while riding in his chariot over the waves
the king of the sea said to me, “No matter
how you love the oak or dream of the world-
spanning yew, remember it is the apple in your
heart, with its blooms more sweet than roses,
fruit more staying than blackberries, and
sheltering branches enough for any fire.”
And I felt it then, this living being
in my heart, blooming and fruiting and growing
at the core of me. And I knew by the slant
of his eye and the way his hands curved the reins
that this was our kinship—he too had an apple
in his heart. I saw then it was as wild
as any yew, as strong as any oak, for what is wilder
or stronger or older than the sea?

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