Na Po Wri Mo – April 17 2023

The challenge today was to incorporate an edible plant in a poem with a comparison between some aspect of the plant’s lifespan and my own – or the life of someone close to me.


Sometimes when I see a beefsteak tomato growing, 

I think of my grandfather, 

of the longing in his fingers as he sowed his seeds,

the space between his hands and the terrible courage 

he discovered each time he took up his rifle. 

When I see a man at the allotment twist twine, 

latching the stems of the plants to their supports,

I think of my grandfather,

of his shirt sleeves rolled up over his elbows, 

his brown-freckled arms saving me from falling.

When I notice the first flowers and early fruits,

I think of my grandfather,

a young soldier, a growing adolescent, a maturing

man among men and all the fragile bodies, falling

falling, falling as yellow petals on the ground.

Summer arrives, the beefsteaks are ripening into 

red silken orbs, the sky is the bluest of blue and 

I think of my grandfather,

the sweet loveliness of his homegrown tomatoes, 

juice trickling onto his chin and running down his wrist.

Sometimes when I hold a beefsteak tomato in both hands,

I think of my grandfather,

his searching fingers gently squeezing the ripest fruit,

his unknown thoughts about war and his unseen love 

for those he fought with and those he fought against.

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