The Tomato Sutra

Driven from the growing shape of morning on the red stone patio,
called by the mulched path between woman-sized tomato plants,
I took my seat to breathe in early August shade.

To the left of the path, three plants. One: an heirloom Cherokee Purple
whose child nearly bursts out of its name next to a smaller green twin.
My fingers thrill against the give of its plump readiness, but I must wait
one more day for Sage, my own purpling daughter, to return. I want to see
what this strange fruit does to the shape of her eyes and face.

And of two Romas, only one of their sons approaches red in a sea
of green brothers. But what a sea! I dream of thawing winter salsa.

And then, because there is left, there is always right, on the right side
of this path is a family of Caspian Pinks. Queens of mazed branches full and broad,
blossoms promised high in lofty reach. Down low, no blooms or tiny fruits!
Midway, a few shriveled flowers inside inner architectures of green.
Of four plants only two diminutive green globes! But what generous shade!

I tell myself they must be late bloomers, like my own slow breasts
(how I prayed!), my own slow living, finally tall, full figured alphabet
putting out prayers above the cage, empty with promise, while others—
look at you dazzling beings!—already heavy with purple and red! I wait.

This is the Sutra of Cherokees, Romas and Caspian Pinks!
May every summer’s last blast of heat bring the least of these awake into the world.
Everything empty staggers toward a steady ripening, a delicious fleeting fall.
On all sides, may the perfect wisdom of this mantra be proclaimed:

tadyatha, mato mato, to om mato, to om om mato, bodhi svaha!

So, noble poets, gardeners, sons and daughters,
we should train in the profound perfection
of wisdom in this way
, and rejoice!

2011

One Response to “The Tomato Sutra”

  1. Cfw says:

    Well, my garden has been
    Rich and sweet
    And full.
    Consisting nearly
    Exclusively of
    Ben and Jerrys fruits
    Thusly with your
    Purples n scarlets
    My shape, the Pear
    And yellow.
    Coming to a salsa
    Near you.

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