'Young Women Picking Fruit' by Mary Cassatt
Young Women Picking Fruit, 1911
Mary Cassatt, American 1845-1926
Oil on Canvas
Copyright ©2003 Carnegie Museum of Art ,Pittsburgh PA

(Click on image for larger version.)

The sign said: 'Pick your own apples'
and I, heavy with a child as yet unharvested,
came into the orchard, impelled, as if
the sign were a mandate.

The trees and I, clumsy with ripe fruit,
weary beneath a dying autumn sun,
knew each other, sang but one song-

sang "This is precious beyond all reckoning,
this moment before the harvest.
I seize it, breathe it, elongate the seconds,
this last moment in which I am
both the tree and the fruit.
I am all, all of it.
It is all of me."

To let it go, to let it fall away from me,
becoming other, is like a dream,
as it is a dream in February,
to hold a winter apple,
and remember that it comes from trees.

Gail Golden

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