Today Bjorn is Pubtender and has poetics at dVerse. He wants us to “write about peace without making it trite, too sweet, or just against the horrors of wars. He wants us to capture how much pain and work it takes. But maybe also how big the reward is”. Come visit and at this time of the season, read some poems about Peace. http://dversepoets.com/2015/12/08/poetics-war-for-peace-or-just-hard-work/
Peace is a Tomato
Like my mother taught me I prepared the soil
and when the oak leaves in spring are the size of a squirrel’s ear,
I take the tender seedlings and gently put them
into the holes dug at 24 inch intervals and pull
the soil around the stems and using my hands
push the soil down around tight – soil too loose
will cause the roots to rot. The soil must be
Through the months weeding, adding nourishment
driving in tall stakes and lifting the
now full and looped branches of the plant
tie with cloth strips over under around and
finish tying up to the stakes – supporting
the branches full of bright yellow blooms and
tiny green gonna be tomatoes.
And when the sun is hot and almost unbearable
the large green tomatoes begin to turn red.
You can stand beside the plant after a rain shower and smell
the bright green of the plant and the red tomato
beginning to ripen. On the perfect.day. I go to the garden
and find more red ripe tomatoes than I can deal with at the time.
I gently cup each tomato in my hand pull – ever so delicately.
The tomato comes loose in my hand and I begin to pile them up
in light split wood baskets waiting in my red Radio Flyer –
up and down our quiet road I go from house to house sharing out
tomatoes. All want at least two and some want more
and my neighbors smile and smell the tomatoes
and hold the baby soft warm tomatoes to their cheeks.
And I still have more tomatoes!
More baskets are piled full and I
drive to our local Food Bank and ask if
they can be used? And the workers smile
in delight and one woman grabs two – I know the person
who is going to get these tonight with her Meals on Wheels supper.
The tomatoes will be turned into salads, into soup, into
marinara sauce – happy tomatoes making food cooked with care.
I go with the volunteer to help deliver those
two special tomatoes.
The old lady is tiny and her hands are knotted
and oh how she smiles when she sees Karin
at her door with her nightly meal!
Karin and I go into the tiny senior residence
and Karin says, Mrs. Pearl, I have a surprise just for you.
This surprise has been waiting since April for you.
She holds out the tomatoes.
Mrs. Pearl looks at them with tears in her eyes.
She takes them as if afraid they will disappear
and then she holds them up to her lips
kissing them as if they were a long lost child.
Just for me?
I haven’t had tomatoes like this in years
and she tells us how she used to love her garden.
We get back into the car and I cry like a baby.
It is hard to feel peace when your stomach is empty.
It is hard to feel peace when your soul is hungry.
Peace is a tomato.