Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
One of them was too old, and one too young,
To bite with all the teeth of either jaw,
So Eighty-three, with spoon in ancient paw,
Scraped out the apple Three had found among
The apples picked and in the orchard piled,
A weighty apple, ripe of juice and red.
By turns the toothless gentlemen were fed,
The elder, apple only, but the child,
Wisdom the serpent never had for Eve:
Sometime for safety be a simpleton.
When love is plainly over with and done,
For worse or better be the first to leave.
And when you have your teeth, taste every fruit,
But eat one whole, juice, rind, core and seed.
When posters fly for all the world to read,
With all your heart be slow to turn recruit.
But otherwise and everywhere be quick,
Be rash and violent with time and space.
You'll learn to think indifference disgrace,
And your stoutest enemy the clock's tick."
The apple thus reduced to core and skin,
The old man said they'd eaten all they could.
The young man thought the famous fruit was good,
And the two men exchanged a manly grin.