Sunday, September 6, 2015

Picking Tomatoes










These are the cherry tomatoes my father picked
on the morning he died

He woke at 7:15, missing the sunrise by half an hour
on the morning he died

He pulled on his summer robe and brown leather slippers
on the morning he died

And made his way upstairs to the kitchen
Dug around in the container-drawer
For a plastic dish then stepped outside

His back yard faces southwest, there was dew on the grass
Sunlight slanted between the houses
And cut across the pepper plants and rose bushes

On the morning he died
He didn’t hesitate as he drew his feet through the lawn

On the morning he died
His fingers found the bright red balls surrounded by green leaves

On the morning he died
He filled up his cup with cherry tomatoes,

Which I am now eating one by one

2 comments:

gram-barb said...

I remember crying while trying to eat the peaches my dad had filled the kitchen bowl with before he went to the hospital the last time...he loved peaches as much as I and teased me because the peach fuzz always gave me goosebumps...so I had to peel them...my dad was of the same temperament as yours Susan... a sweet, precious, strong and tender man and I adored him....he gave me patience...I will think of cherry tomatoes in a different way and remember your precious father each time I walk in the yard toward a garden....I'm glad you will have these poetic remembrances....

Charli Mills said...

Such a sad yet sacred poem. Life and death in cherry tomatoes, a death so unexpected in summer when we are ready to receive its gifts. My condolences, Susan. There are no words to remove this burden from you.