Vinegar days.

Vinegar days.

The path winds down through the apple trees
on this breezy August day
We slowly walk this path, my friends,
in silent contemplation.

Red apples glow, the air is balm,
and the grass we tread is soft.
My hand is held by my sweet friend
and smiles are passers-by.

At a certain moment an old acquaintance comes to join in.
‘There’s a whole bunch of you,’ he points out,
‘Walking slowly, holding hands, and not talking.
That’s weird. People are looking at you.’

His voice is as tart as the unripe apples.
It shrinks the world and turns it sour.
I turn red inside and try to run away,
but my friend is still holding my hand.

I am ashamedly trapped in this moment,
and all I can do is keep walking with it, burning inside.
Then I remember my manners, and his name.
‘Ah, my old friend, acute social embarrassment: welcome.’

‘You know’, I continue, ‘I had always thought that one day
you and I would part company and I would never see you again.
It would herald a time of great perfection, and happiness.
Like having sweet ripe apples on the trees every day.’

Ah. A realisation dawns, as impossible perfection fades.
‘My friend, I see now we will always be meeting on the path.
Come and join us, be my companion, hold my hand.
Let us have fun together on the vinegar days ahead.’

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