The Old Man Planting Apple Trees

“Even if I knew I were to die tomorrow I would still plant an apple tree today.”

Martin Luther

He shifts things from one place to another

Meticulously; later they will be replaced

By his wife to the exact same spot.


He stands up, bent over some piece of writing,

Trying to decipher the words,

And their meanings.


He looks for something in the room, slowly,

Very slowly; and when he finds the right paintbrush,

He ambles back to his desk and sits quietly.


His desk is square and quite large,

But it has been invaded by a quantity

Of useless clutter:


Old books that will never be opened again,

Plastic bags that contain God knows what,

Unopened letters and unread magazines.


His handkerchief is perfectly folded

On the top right corner of his writing table;

He has just enough space for his sheet of paper.


There is a pocket colour wheel in front of him

And a paint colour palette, two small jars of water with a lid—

One partly stained, the other still translucent.


He can now start painting.


About danielhszabo

I guess if I continue like this I'll be able to call myself a writer. For now I'm just an English literature and translation teacher in beautiful Brittany.
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