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Prepared for winter

Applesauce bubbles in an iron pot. Moist with steam, She tucks loose wisps of white hair Behind her ear, her hands sticky With juice from apples she's peeled. Pleased with the teaspoonful She's tasted, She clicks off the stove. As the steam settles She stands in the doorway, listening. The harvest over, the sound She still hears unsettles her, The rumble of apples rolling into bins. The slant of the sun through apple boughs Casts uneven shadows across her feet. An uneasiness chills her. With the earth's slow shifting, a shift Of sunlight. A thought, Refreshing as sparkling cider, Clears her mind. The harvest -- a returning -- the cycle Beginning to begin again. The steam settled, The spiced fruit ladled into jars, She seals the lids, Seals the thought. She tightens the bands. On white dishtowels, the warm jars Cool.

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