Poetry Friday is hosted by Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
We haven’t planted summer tomatoes for many years now, but it used to be a family tradition to haul out the big clay pots sometime late in May, and stake out some tomato vines. Then, we’d water and watch as blossoms appeared, and were transformed into juicy fruits we could pick. These days, our tomato picking is reserved for the Sunday farmer’s market, but I was reminded of our “old way” when I passed by a neighbor’s discarded tomato vines.
The whiskey stink of rot has settled
in the garden, and a burst of fruit flies rises
when I touch the dying tomato plants.
Still, the claws of tiny yellow blossoms
flail in the air as I pull the vines up by the roots
and toss them in the compost.
It feels cruel. Something in me isn’t ready
to let go of summer so easily. To destroy
what I’ve carefully cultivated all these months.
Those pale flowers might still have time to fruit.
My great-grandmother sang with the girls of her village
as they pulled the flax. Songs so old
and so tied to the season that the very sound
seemed to turn the weather.