Fallen in the Apples

Béarn, France, 12th century

Head throbbing, muscles paralyzed, Pierre
slowly opens his eyes, looking up
through leafy green branches
at the round, rosy cheeks of angels with stems
smiling down on him. Dizzied by the aroma
of fermenting apple,
he drifts again unconscious.
The other peasants, seeing him
beyond apple-picking for the day,
leave him alone. And so Pierre dreams:

May 1969, the streets of Paris

Today, we must march without our leader.
He’s worked too hard. Maintenant,
il est tombé dans les pommes—
Now, he’s fallen in the apples.

And so they march, hundreds of them,
students and laborers in solidarity
against a harsh government.
From deep within the orchard
where he lies exhausted,
Pierre is leading the charge.

He’s holding a flag he’s never seen before.
Marchons! he shouts, and on they march,
him dragging an apple orchard behind.

About the Author

In 2003, the Texas Institute of Letters awarded Lynn Hoggard the Soeurette Diehl Fraser award for best translation. Her poem “Love in the Desert” was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize by Word Fountain, and her latest book, Bushwhacking Home (TCU Press, 2017), won the 2018 Press Women of Texas award for best book of poetry. Her poem “In the Garden” was nominated for the 2018 Sundress Best of the Net award. To view more of their work click below.