Poem of the North

Fifty years of the Northern Poetry Library

From Canto 2

Apple Ducking, Otley Chevin

They natter about last year’s miserable weather
over cider, sunlight glinting on the bucket of water.
Then, silence as she ducks for a Flower of the Town.
He’s after the Yorkshire Beauty, first picked
in a shoemaker’s garden in the Dales. They splutter
as their crowns touch briefly. In the end,
she gets the Beauty, catches the stalk in her teeth
and lifts it slowly. She shakes the drips, tries not to laugh.

He watches her pare it neatly with her pocket knife,
take the first sweet bites. She relishes the star at its heart.

He settles for a Ribston Pippin, pockets it for later.

View poem in Canto