by Geoff Munsterman
Ripped from the vine once its color comes
delightfully close to rosy, it’s sent north to
flourish or rot—chambers never stiffening.
Fat & thin-skinned, the basin silt filters
a natural spiciness to the ripened fruit.
You’d like to think it some seed-spun
nothing, some frivolous ingredient
thickening your lettuce-ravaged salad.
You like to think it’s some blood-colored
fool for your amusement fattening
your listlessly scribbled grocery list.
But one bite in, with its juices dribbling
your chin you’ll know even if you won’t
admit it that the creole tomato suffers
its fools & spends its precious ripeness
trying to feed folks its flesh instead of
proving its bruises. Tastes like home
& home never needs dashes of salt
to be stomached. You could cut it
into quarters or core it like an apple,
sliver into slices, dice, or stew. Use it
how you want it, or don’t want it.
Pretty simple as a matter of fact.
It’s the Mississippi River as it drains
a continent forming more continent
for fur trappers hungering a better life
to camp out on as they hunt muskrat
snacking on basin-flavored weeds.
Trappers that’d rather capsized boats
instead of letting provincial weasels
pry what little joy a hard life gives.
Politicians rip the land from farmers
carving open oysters for the world—
what’s left produces citrus sweeter
than the golden state’s or Florida’s
and pops its crops in spite of floods,
boll weevils, crap grass, or any evils.
Roots too deep to ever waver, it lives
through even basin drifting into Gulf
in parcels large as football fields at a rate
of one per thirty-eight minutes. Exists
tenuous at best, yet produces huge fruit
too good to not get acid-sick ingesting.
A crop that takes nothing but sunrise
serious—its survival making it delicious.Share