A poem by my sister

My sister is a poet. She earned a degree in poetry several years ago, writes poetry and has taught young students in New York City as well. She is now pursuing teaching certification in California, in fact.

She tells me she has been writing about Mom with some frequency. I blog, she writes poetry. It’s all therapeutic – at least we think so. I don’t share the specific memory detailed in this poem, but we both agree that Mom influenced our love for a slice of a locally grown tomato in August. This was written in November 2008.

My Mother’s Tomatoes

If she knew who I was, I would call her in the nursing home,
tell her I’ve planted my own this year,

how after weeks of parting the chartreuse curtain
of leaves and vines, I’ve finally caught

the first scarlet spark of an Early Girl.
It is the same fiery shade that flashes under my lids

when I close my eyes toward the sun;
Mustang red, brake lights in the driveway,

my mother’s Sangria-stained lips. Those humid nights,
her hair loose, her boyfriend holding the door, she breezed in fresh

from the farm stand with bags of tomatoes and corn,
her idea of a complete summer dinner. The steaming cobs,

the Heirlooms, sliced from the core down like
August valentines I piled on my plate, wanting nothing more.

4 comments so far

  1. Patty on

    That is a fantastic poem, so descriptive. Thanks for posting it.

  2. momsbrain on

    Thanks, Patty. I hope my sister will contribute more!

  3. deb athy guinan on

    i have to stop reading. it’s too early in the day for me to go this deep. but a fuller portrait of your mom is really starting to emerge–the warts and the whimsies–which is a tribute to her and to you. a book is also starting to emerge. And the poem knocked me out.

  4. cindy keenist on

    I have finally had a chance to read some of your blog. What a wonderful tribute to your mom. It is interesting to read so much of my father in your stories. I will join in again.

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