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An Apple for My Mum by Sue Finch

I need to tell you exactly what colour it was.
Did you ever suck an American boiled sweet –
a blue one –
slip it out of your mouth 
hold it to the sun to admire it
before sliding its smoothness back in
and licking the wet sugar coating from
the pads of your thumb and index finger?
It was nearly that blue.

And did you have that gel toothpaste
so bright you squeezed it the full length 
of your brush’s bristles
even though you knew the tube
said ‘pea-sized’?
The kind that had you wondering how blue 
made teeth white?
It was almost that kind of blue. 
And it shone
like the first strokes from a bottle of nail polish 
labelled ‘electric blue’.

And there it was 
hanging from the branch of a tree
within reach, 
four firm knuckles at its base
and no one had picked it.

So I got it for her, that bluest of apples,
and all the way to her house
excitement held my stomach captive
as I imagined her biting into it
or wanting to put it on display 
for the whole world to see.


Sue Finch was born in Kent. She now lives with her wife in North Wales and enjoys exploring the coast. Her first published poem appeared in A New Manchester Alphabet in 2015 whilst studying for her MA with Manchester Metropolitan University. Her work has also appeared in The Interpreter’s House, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Poetry Bus Magazine and in Crossings Over, an anthology published by Chester University Press. Having a number of poems in the real world makes her smile. You can follow Sue on Twitter to find out more about her work: @soopoftheday


  1. Yes I did suck an American boiled sweet and slipped it out of my mouth and then licked my sticky fingers which were th colour of the sweet.
    Yes I did have that sort of turquoise blue toothpaste and did wonder how it would make my teeth white.
    As for a blue apple, never!
    I loved the poem as it brought back so many childhood memories and it made me smile thinking about a blue apple and what it might taste like........ that thinking will stay with me tonight I am sue.
    Excellent poem, I loved it.


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