you took 17 gasps before curling up like an old leaf and I thought of your tiny baby wrinkles and blue surface veins filled with tree-things and life-stuff. I'll be honest, I don't know what is inside of an apple tree but I assume that it was inside of you as well and maybe that is why you could only manage 17 gasps.
You father waited for you like a hound dog on a rug, did you know that? He waited for you, sprawled out on plastic covered coaches with those waxy wooden armrests. He waited for your toes and your nose and your lips and when they came out all wilted, he cried like sap rolling down a truck- slow and heavy and quiet from the root of him. My brother told me, after a very long pause, that you were a cooked kernel. My brother who isn't like the rest of us anymore since his accident. He might have understood it more than anyone else, that even the good apples fall out of trees. That even the good apples only get 17 gasps.
They say a baby's hands are like little flowers but yours were like fossils. My brother says that it's a good idea that we plant you again and if we do, you'll grow the rest of the way. My brother says that you'll walk up your father's porch one day with perfect size hands and that we just have to wait for you to ripen. Your father thinks he's stupid and punched him in the mouth. Everyone thinks he's stupid but I think that this time, he might be right.
You took 17 gasps and you came too early. Your body was just too tiny for all your insides, you were an over-packed seed. And your mother loved you so much that her heart couldn't take it and all her blood rushed out to follow you. Your father told us that her body wasn't ready to let you go yet. You came too soon, Nora. My brother says that your heart did all it's beating too fast and it's okay to fall out of a tree. That the good apples usually do.