Homegrown Tomatoes

Tomato-Flower-by-audreyjm529

July. She stands among the tomatoes
Pinioned in conical wire cages
Red fruit grows plump with ruby shoulders
Blushing with exposure. Long days of sun.
And rain. Too much rain.
In rivulets it pools between
Delicate roots covered by hillocks
that rise like mountains from a flooded valley.

In February cradled in Dixie Cups, seedlings
Reached for the sun from their perch
Atop the chest-freezer on the glassed-in porch.
A growing future, a bounty promised
In pictures on the front of the seed packets
Each envelope inverted on popsicle sticks prevents
Mixups between Big Boys and Better Boys.
As if she could get them confused with Terrifics.

In early April, not late March as she had wanted,
They were set-out in their rows. Then yellow
Star-shaped flowers twinkled on branches.
Infinitesimal, unseen golden pollen granules drifted.
Startled from the flower by sonicating bees’ wings
and by the bump of the doe as she meandered at sunrise.

Fruit set. Green nubbins appeared in May.
Veined marbles she had thought as she picked off
Tomato fruitworms, squashing them in the dirt.
She draped protective bird netting in a battle
With the mockers who stood and pecked
Laughing, she felt, at her defensive efforts.

And now in July their sides split
From too much rain. They weep
Rivulets of juicy life.

Photo credit: Tomato flower by flickr user audreyjm529

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