Tuesday Poem: ‘Growing Up’ by Michelle Elvy

 Growing Up
Eat the whole apple
to the core
even past it,
seeds and all…
You’ll live forever, said Grandpa Ben
And I believed him when
I was ten
He was living proof  —
ate his apples to the core
and died when he was
I recall a lifetime of useful truths
chocolate is great but sex is better
Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain will change your life
Your girl is always the best
So we ate our apples with great care,
my brother and me. But last year
he died at thirty-three, a bitter rotten
thing to swallow. And I wondered:
Grandpa maybe was a liar
after all
But I pour a whisky for my girl and me
on a midnight porch with nothing but fireflies
and the mournful meanderings of Miles
Davis.  And I know now, Grandpa Ben
didn’t lie, he just got the one
about apples wrong.
This poem was first published in the new issue of Blackmail Press (bmp 33, found here). What a good thing to be included in for National Poetry Day.

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11 Responses to Tuesday Poem: ‘Growing Up’ by Michelle Elvy

  1. Oh, I love it. A lot. It’s so well paced, and it reminds me of a whole lot of growing-up memories – plus the fact that I almost always eat the whole apple, core seeds and all!

  2. ehjc says:

    Now I know I’m in for more spam! Ha ha, would you mind deleting that comment Michelle? The poem is still excellent, I’m just not very clever at filling in forms!

  3. gurglewords says:

    It’s great how you make the shift from childhood to adulthood ..a shift which is a shock…that strikes at our deep need to understand tragedy and believe in the wisdom of olds…and then the resolution and acceptance. Thanks for this Michelle.

    • thank you! There was a lot of emotion in this piece, though I had not realised it at the time of writing… but you’re right, those transitions are both necessary and complete somehow.

  4. pscottier says:

    So much in a brief poem, from relatively light-hearted to tragic to a sad reconciliation with fate. All circling around the apple image. A memorable poem, Michelle.

  5. Helen Lowe says:

    May I awhi all the other comments–this is a poem of parts and depth and I enjoyed the whole. Thank you.

  6. derin Attwood says:

    I loved this, Michelle. I have very special memories of my grandpa – who loved watermelon and talked of living forever.

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