‘you’ve spoiled the way the tree hangs’, he muttered in passing, the man i’d watched from across the orchard with admiration, imagining some future passion. His torso glowed in the low summer sun. Sweat over taunt muscles, golden fuzz glued, caught in highlights, his face averted, his shorts short and tight.
When he approached me, i’d gasped at the intense scent rising from his body, that eclipsed the perfume of the apples dangling from the branches and fermenting in the grass. I’d felt quite dizzy from it, perched as i was, dangerously high on my ladder.
‘is that a fact?’ i’d offered to his back.
A beautiful, rippling study of manly motion and determination, he attacked the tree next to me with his secateurs. ‘yep’ he said, under his breath, ‘get some perspective’.
i climbed down from the ladder, took a few steps away and surveyed my own tree, glistening with rosy fruit, littered with severed branches and foliage, listing slightly.
He’d made no bones of it. I laughed. He was probably right.
In this tender light, this splendid afternoon spoiled, i removed my ladder to a further tree and began again.
i left my thoughts hanging
not a haiku
The prompt is based on Robert Hass’s remarkable prose poem, “A Story About the Body.” The idea is to write your own prose poem that, whatever title you choose to give it, is a story about the body. The poem should contain an encounter between two people, some spoken language, and at least one crisp visual image.