a poetry e-zine










Larry Schug

A Small Kindness, This


An anonymous passerby,

someone on their way to work,

perhaps some bicyclist,

took the time to remove the cat,

hit by a car in the night, from the roadway,

place it in the ditch among wild violets

before more tires, feasting crows

and other agents of decay

could begin their work on the carcass;

a small kindness, this,

to foster a measure of dignity

during these times of anonymous death,

un-marked graves.





Apple Harvest


The apple tree in the back yard,

so heavy with Harrel Reds,

we need to prop up its limbs

with two by fours, one by sixes,

a length of old rain gutter,

a broken step ladder, shepherd’s hooks,

whatever we can find

to keep the apple’s weight from breaking branches.

Yet the branches droop lower every day.

To lighten their load, we pick some apples before they’re ripe,

leave them in a pile on the ground,

a sacrificial offering to rabbits and raccoons,

to deer, in the hope they will leave some fruit to mature.

All this, and still the serpent is not appeased;

it picks the finest apple from the tree,

offers it to my wife,

who, in turn, offers it to me.

She has a look in her eyes I can’t resist,

Eden be damned. I want what she proffers

though there is no end to the grief it will cause me

and now, I’ve been told,

any future apples must be earned by the sweat of my brow.



Larry Schug lives near a large tamarack bog in central Minnesota. He’s a poet, and he hates bios that are lists of publication credits.

Copyright 2012  Chantarelle's Notebook