I had two to-me-unexpected responses to my poem ‘April Thieves’ which appeared in the New Yorker earlier this year. Both were from West Coast fruit-growing societies, one in Oregon and one in Washington, both asking to reprint the poem in their newsletters.

Bob Baines, of the Western Washington Fruit Growing Society, told me in his email how he happened to come across my poem:

‘I am currently president of this organization, We are dedicated to supporting research and educating the public about the special fruit growing practices and concerns of our Pacific Northwest region. Most of our activity centers around management and maintenance of our 6 acre temperate zone fruit display orchard.

 ‘This morning, I was sitting in the waiting room of my sports medicine doctor and on the table next to me were two issues of “New Yorker” magazine from earlier this year. I picked one up and glanced through the list of articles not seeing anything remotely of interest to me until I saw the entry “Apple Thieves” … ah, some hope. I have been involved in growing fruit in public places for nearly 40 years and quickly recalled several different lines of thought on that topic. Let’s see, I thought, where the poet takes this.

‘Expecting a whimsical treatment, I quickly realized that this was someone who understood the essence of fruit gardening. I read on, enjoying the knowledgeable treatment of my favorite subject.

‘But with the gentle revelation of the last line, you sprung open the door to an infinite number of lines of positive thought beginning with gardening and encompassing life and love and time.’

Well, that is as a good a review as I’ve ever had, and I asked Bob if I could pass it on, and he kindly agreed.