(A little impromptu poem, in between my grading)
I have all these tomatoes.
I planted them three months ago, in the
Bright sunshine of early spring. Many
Varieties, some heirloom, some hybrid.
Pretty pink cherry ones, and violently red
Ones. When plucked, fresh from the curling
Tangled vines, one can smell the life in them,
Sweet and earthy, the smell of life in them,
That’s begged to be shared. A great bounty
Of beautiful tomatoes. I harvest them, like a
Butterfly gathering nectar from flowers, a
Bee collecting pollen in its many, spikey legs,
Depositing them into a small, black bowl
Centred on my kitchen table. They sit, and
I sit before them, lift one firm orb and think
“He would like this,” or “She would like this,”
But sit they on my table, in the small, black
Bowl. A visitor or two, I offer. “Here, here
From my garden. Eat, they’re good.” And
One eats, fresh, popping a pink orb in his
Mouth, chased down with cold, clean water,
A piece of bread, some cheese, a goodly
Meal. Some I prepare for simple, hearty
Sauce, a meal for two or three or maybe
Even four — isn’t that lovely? Chopped
Red bursts of flavor, into the pot, bubbling
A kitchen witch’s cauldron, but for good and
Not for ill. Ground beef, onion, garlic, salt.
Pepper, red wine, olive oil, oregano, majoram
And basil, with added tomato sauce and water.
Good, clean water. Good clean steam from
The pot, and the fresh tomatoes melding into
The sauce, becoming one, a bubbling syngery
Shared over pasta, over wine, over conversation.
I have all these tomatoes, waiting. They
Hold their breaths and, like a man before
His deathbed, close their eyes … and let go.