The Resistance of Tomatoes

20 May

There are a lot of different tomatoes
In the grocery store these days
There are loose ones
There are greenhouse ones in plastic boxes
Tiny ones and big ones
With stems or without
Even heirlooms, all black and green and pink.

Probably still those square ones somewhere
That packed so well

But now what we want is the real thing.
We want a tomato that is
Actually ripe.

Tomatoes are from Mexico
They like it hot
But not too hot
They will not get sweet if it’s too cold
And they will not set fruit if it’s too hot.

I have grown heirloom tomatoes here for months on end
Who do not set fruit
Until just soon enough to die of frost
Vines resplendent
Full of green fruit
Though I am not far from Mexico.

A tomato must ripen on the vine
Drawing in sugars
With the right heat
To be sweet.

And then they are too fragile to easily pack
Thus all this elaborate plastic
All these individual tomato habitat nodules

And still

We have wrecked the weather
And we have insulted tomatoes
But still we love them
And still we grow them
Because there is nothing quite like
A perfectly ripe tomato

Such as might have grown on your mother’s balcony
By the ocean
One fine summer.

Tomatoes are like that
They make you remember
When you pleased them.




One Response to “The Resistance of Tomatoes”

  1. Sundazed 2018/05/20 at 2:49 am #

    Reblogged this on The DeepGreen Blog.


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