Tomatoes

Lost poem that keeps nagging me.
Dates to 2000 or so following the death of a close friend at Easter that year.
This is an attempt to recreate it, knowing I’m no longer the person who wrote the original. 
RIP, Terry…

I come home
thinking of fall and 
craving tomatoes.

I go to my backyard beds
and pick whatever’s ripe
for my favorite summer meal:
thick-sliced plum tomatoes,
Gorgonzola cheese,
a few shreds of basil, 
balsamic vinegar,
light on the olive oil.

You once questioned me:
why not traditional Mozzarella?
I said it’s because I feel that 
strong blues make flavors pop
and without strong flavors,
what’s the point?  You tasted it,
agreed, told me later
you could no longer imagine 
not using a strong blue cheese
in a tomato salad, and I was 
as well pleased as I could be
that we’d fallen once again into 
the same place on something — 

I remember this as I stare into
strong blues and bright reds
in this bowl, stare into oil bubbles, 
a brown slick of vinegar, remember
you weren’t here to help me
plant this year, to plant the beds
scant weeks after your passing;
weren’t here to help me weed
and toss and water and feed;
realize again, as if for the first time,
that you aren’t here to help me savor
the likely last summer salad of the year,
picked ahead 
of the inevitable 
killing frost.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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