Gone Pickin'

In this orchard,
Everyone is picking 
Their own juicy apples.
Without thinking,
I came upon this one tree --
It’s as if these plush leaves
Were calling only for me.
Everyone else is filling their baskets,
Brimming with nothing
But apples.
I am already picking my share:
The red, the yellow, the green.
They all glisten beautifully.
I look to the side and someone
Plucks a golden apple 
From their own tree.
There just has to be one in my leaves.
I start pulling and dropping every fruit I see,
There is no time to heal
Any bruise they keep.
And there it is -- 
Just out of reach.
Its round posture, 
Its ring of polish and shine.
That color is naturally perfect for me.
But my ladder 
Will not go any higher.
The green apple within my reach
Is just wishing for the touch 
Of my palms;
Its round posture, 
Its ring of polish and shine.
But it is not golden,
Maybe some other time.
I can’t go any higher,
My legs can’t stretch any farther,
My arms are becoming sore.
Surely picking all of these
Is still my specialty?
The person next to me 
Savors the bite of her golden treat;
The apples behind her 
Lay forgotten in agony.
My eyes are in anguish.
What is this torture
Of merely seeing?
They can only imagine
How smooth it must be.
Maybe I can pick it another day.
Will it ever rot? 
I can’t say.
That apple just ought to wait.
But hey, this green one
With its enchanting sheen
And plump anatomy
Is tasting pretty sweet for me.
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