He found her in the shimmer before
the apple trees were planted, the moment
stored forever on the hard drive
of his soul. He knew that he had known
her long ago, in the dream span of his years,
in the spin and reel of galaxies.
The tags showed Pippins,
red with ripening, she asked if they
were eaters, he promised sunshine,
shelter; silver, silk and gold
of blossom and the scent of blossoms
in the bliss of after-rain;
he promised well-staked roots,
a bumper harvest.

Somewhere in the nappy days,
the sour smell of reflux, take-aways
reheated; somewhere in the scabs
of chicken pox, the snot and coughs
of broken sleep, the not-tonights and
greasy hair; somewhere
in the second-hand, the DIY,
filled-in cracks, rusted cars; somewhere
in the unwashed grime, frayed seams,
sweat and canker of nine-to-five,
shiny arse on his only suit, stretch
polyester of making ends meet;
somewhere in the mildew
between the bookies and the pub,
he lost her.