the tomato

gnarled hands, ropy
and thick-veined and strong,
rest in the corner of the yard.
i remember my childhood fear
of them, reaching out to touch
their knuckles stiff with cilia,
almost believing
i would be snatched and shook
by swollen fingers stiff with age
and horticultural science.
now we are friends.
we speak and are quiet together,
although tight fruits peeking out
from within the tangle
still seem to me unnatural,
growths borne of some otherwordly sickness,
malignancies to be removed
once they have turned
the color of fresh blood.
in this way i nurse an ancient creature
i do not fully understand
with an illness i cannot fathom,
relieving it of some pressure
or at least of some weight.
this near-sentient, grasping lifeform,
out of step with my own biorhythms,
advances in one turn of the moon
from infant to hobbled, bending elder,
never able to abide the cooler
climes of autumn,
which of all seasons i love best,
never more seethingly alien and wise
than in the sweltering depths
of july, when my own soul
falters and is faint.

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4 thoughts on “the tomato

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