trespassed apples

The world is divided. Some people carry their own groceries out to their pickups, some people ask for help. Some grocery clerks stop by the Chrome Bar kitty corner from Mulligan’s grocery store to check on the football scores before returning to bag groceries . Hi, My name is DOUG, says his name tag dangling from the green apron hanging from his neck, tied haphazardly around his waist. Some grocery clerks stay in the store, wondering where Doug is, and offer recipes for how to make Red Bull (because the town is only two blocks long and there’s no room on the shelves for more than pop and beer) : Take five times too much cocoa and a week’s worth of coffee grounds, heat to almost too hot to drink and then add baking soda. Knock it back real quick. Bam! You are good and fixed.

And some people, hot and thirsty, from two days camping and fishing hours from civilization, would find and some would not find the humor when the barmaid delivers the menu after being asked if there was anything to eat:  The menu has four items, two of which are out of stock.   So what would it be? Red Baron’s Pepperoni or Tombstone’s Plain Cheese?

The world of camping can be divided, also. There are the campers who remember everything and  run generators while camping next to the creek that has just fallen 1000 feet from the mountain top in order to roar past your camping spot.  And then there are the other campers who discover too late they’ve only 5 matches left in their grub box. And discover they didn’t  pack  enough food for dinner.  And realize they must make sure to catch some fish.

And so, yes. These are the sorts who stop in the first little mountain town driving back home with an edge of hunger, willing to eat cardboard pizza.

And when the world divides into two regarding that one farmer’s apple tree, thirty miles from any pizza,  these are the sorts who can be found on the fence line that says yes, pick the last four apples hanging from the tree.


About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website:

12 responses to “trespassed apples

  1. Rose Hunter

    Could I order the pepperoni and the cheese? Now, which type of camper are you? I’m going to say somewhere in the middle of those two…. I know, for example, that you did some prep….
    Mmmm, apples! 🙂

  2. redmitten

    i’m on the side of any sort of pizza anywhere, anytime, with or without the “cardboard”.

    and when it comes to matches i am the one with backup matches in her book bag, and backup hotdogs in the cooler.

    but when it comes to climbing through barbed wire fences to get to the farmer’s apples? i am on that side all the way. and yes the apples were wonderful. it was like eating sunshine!

  3. ah. a fellow northern tier person. when i read the word pop, i stopped. having moved from minnesota years ago, i rarely hear the word anymore.

    that creek is doing its best. but it doesn’t give a damn whether you’re running a generator or striking your last match. for some reason that strikes me as hilarious.

    i love this piece.

    • redmitten


      when i was writing this, i paused at pop, because we montanans get ribbed for saying pop when the rest of the nation wants us to say soda. but yes, pop it is up here. soda is slowly working its way in…but why so? 🙂

      your comment about the creek totally made my day. the creek is doing its best, yes! this perspective is exactly the fix i needed. so good to hear from you!

      (memo to self: be the creek . . .)

      • sherry,

        you mentioned ithaca.lit when you commented on my blog, the name of course is very intriguing to me. do you accept prose, or only poetry? if you like you can reply to my email:

        where i will be sure to get your answer.

        either way, what a lovely publication for you to be involved with~

      • redmitten


        i was thinking the same thing! i’ll email you shortly with more. michele (founding editor) is interested in “essays” and i will get in touch with her and introduce the two of you to each other. i’m still touched by your piece about showing your son the exhibit displaying the coins you excavated on ithaka way back when.

        more soon…

  4. We were just talking about pop and soda in my poetry workshop. Pop.

    Plus, just ate some sunshine off my parents’ apple tree!

  5. Kerry

    Little towns, little menus, little brains(sometimes!) …this made me smile! I think I’m an in between the two kinds of campers…no generator but plenty of matches and JUST enough food till we hit the town hoping to find the good all day breakfast!

  6. Kerry

    p.s….pop, all the way!

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