Working Prayer

by Denton Loving

Thank you, I say, after each apple
picked from this fallen tree. I’m not sure
if I’m thanking the tree or God.
This tree fell one rainy night
weeks ago, the burden of its unripe
fruit too great for its roots and
softening slope. Sideways, green turned
red.  I cut and saw limbs, make them easier
to clear away, but apples remain
for me to gather. Flesh against flesh,
fingers pull thin stems holding to a
dying tree. Later, there will be nothing
but a lone stump. My bag is
full, but my knees bend and arms reach for
another, another. Thank you. A
tree frog jumps before me—spot
of green, small as a dime, hopping away
from my labor. He glitters in the light
like dew clings to tree leaves, miracle
of place and time. I blink and the frog
disappears into the brush. Thank you.


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