Haibun: Summer Tomatoes

A haibun of exactly 75 words in the manner of Basho for my prompt at Real Toads, Day 15 of NAPOWRIMO. A haibun is a Japanese poetic form consisting of a true autobiographical part and ended with a seasonal haiku.


Haibun: Summer Tomatoes
“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” Lewis Grizzard

It was the middle of July; mama had died mid-June. She is the one who taught me all of my gardening and canning skills. The tomatoes hung thick from the vines. To encourage more blooms, I buried the fertilizer spike.
soft like my mama’s cheek
I held the tomato to my face –
watered it with my tears

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kim881
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 02:18:04

    It’s breakfast time here and I have a hankering for a homegrown tomato now. 🙂 You’ve conveyed a poignant moment in so few words, Toni.


  2. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 03:15:02

    My Grizzard is right! I love your tender reminiscence. Brevity is beautiful!


  3. sanaarizvi
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 07:30:45

    This is heartwrenchingly beautiful, Toni! 💞


  4. merrildsmith
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 08:09:01

    So poignant–beautiful Toni. I can smell the summer smell of tomatoes, and see your tears.


  5. ellecee
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 10:32:13

    This is a beautiful tribute to your mama,,


  6. Kerry
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 11:04:30

    The tomato held to the cheek really got to me.


  7. Charmed Chaos
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 12:01:09

    My mom taught me all I know about growing things too Toni. Beautiful tribute to your mother.


  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 14:57:49

    This is such a tender moment… I think it’s memories like this that we all need, and tears like this that make us stronger.


  9. annell4
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 15:47:34

    A very touching write Toni. I lost my Mom, 2012, I miss her everyday. It is not easy to say goodby to our Moms, and we see them in the strangest things, homegrown tomatoes in the summer,,,, and other things.

    And thank you for commenting on my poem…you did just as I had hoped, I have been trying to be very careful about how I put the writing on my site, so no one would be confused…this was my best effort yet!


  10. Carrie V. H.
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 15:47:35

    Touching and so beautiful! I love this Toni!!


  11. Magaly Guerrero
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 16:18:59

    The word “bittersweet” is often overused. But it was the first thing that came to mind when I finished reading this one. Bittersweet, especially the haiku. I can see the tomato, red and plump and lovely, and your tears like raindrops. A beautiful and heartbreaking glimpse into love and memory.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 15, 2019 @ 16:22:33

      Thank you Magaly. We often for some reason compare the skin of old women to rosepetals. I compare it to the warm soft skin of tomatoes. As long as there are tomatoes in my garden, my mother lives


  12. Susie Clevenger
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 17:05:13

    Oh, this brings tears. My mother canned everything imaginable and tomatoes were one of her favorite things to eat fresh and preserve for later. Thanks for sharing this tender memory with us.


  13. SatyaPriya
    Apr 15, 2019 @ 20:58:25

    Is it any wonder I no longer eat tomatoes?


  14. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Apr 16, 2019 @ 00:24:49

    There is something wonderful holding a ripe, fresh picked tomato in one’s hand. Such a simple poem – but very moving. Perfect.


  15. Jim
    Apr 16, 2019 @ 00:42:28

    Thanks for telling, Toni. My mom grew tomatoes also, we had a very large garden on the farm. I like tomatoes out in the garden, carrots, radishes, water melons and even potatoes too. Thanks for hosting.
    p.s. I have a touch of snow in mine today, running very late as was yesterday. But I did get the income tax sent off. The new tax “cut” law cost us a small bundle.


  16. Frank J. Tassone
    Apr 20, 2019 @ 09:13:44

    Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #3: Toni Spencer’s #haibun for her own day 15 NaPoWriMo2019 prompt at Real Toads!


Thank you for reading! I try to reciprocate all comments. If you want me to visit a particular post, please direct me directly to that post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: