The Last Summer Tomato

Today, we ate the last,
the very last
summer tomato.

We stripped tall vines
down, first of September
before a first hint of frost.
Before sky-bound leaves
spark flames, red and gold.

Fall breeze thrilling
bent and sun-warmed bodies
lifts a pungent smell
of crushed vines
from weary, dark-stained hands.

In the end there was
a small, sad, rubbled pile.
Pocked and warped; worried by wasps.
Running hard green
to a nearly ripe orange.

We sat them precious in a window.
We watched them as they ripened.
We ate them over days; until
we reached the last.
The very last summer tomato.

We considered fanfare,
or quiet ritual to mark
the season’s passing.
It seemed, somehow,
in bad taste.

So we prepared our simple meal
as if nothing were amiss.

And we sat and ate and talked.
Each secretly noting the other
saving on their plate
one small, cherished piece
of a final and irrevocable moment.

copyright 09/01

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