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Cider Pressing

ISSUE:  Autumn 1936

October evening drowses at the door,
The apples make their own light on the floor,
The mill is making music, slow and grave,
The apples rumble downwards, wave on wave Along the chute, and go up in the dusk To turn themselves to honeycomb and musk.
Men come and go, with faces sad and browned,
Their words are part of the contented sound Which fills the building to its dusty cracks,
Fathers of robust children bend their backs,
Warm with the beauty of their thighs and knees,
And sort the small fruits of cool apple trees.
This is a good end to an Autumn day,
Men know it without being asked to say.
The cider pours down in a silky flood,
Darker than the dusk is, dark as blood,
The tenders stoop above it as it streams,
Up to their wrists in something deep as dreams,
They pour old sunlight into hollow wood.
The year is ending, and the men smell good
As the ending year.
All things are right
And ready for the quiet of the night.
This work means more to these men than a wife;
They have stained their fingers dark with life.


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