Fall approaches, and the apples fall. Late-summer apples, green and dewy, scattered over this southern Indiana lawn, like remnants of a neglected game of marbles. Overhead, a rustle of branches and then the thuds of even more limb-lost apples set the Tell City morning in motion, albeit, a lazy sort of motion, the slow motion of this small town with a city name, the slow, patient motion of the old bones of grandparents gathering fallen apples.

It is mid-September, and it is cider day. With pocket-knives and paring knives, my grandparents carve out small flaws from the fruit’s freckled flesh — rot spots, bruises, worm holes — robbing the ripe apples of their roundness, blades dripping with juice, fingers wet and sticky from this seasonal knife-blade geometry.