Big, round red tomatoes

Sit beside a cutting board

With the sharpest, serrated knife I own

I cut hem in half, then half these

Gut the pulp

Lay the juicy, red strips on a screen

Set it in full sunshine

Cover with netting

No insects permitted

 

Hot days are best for evaporation

It may take three or four days

The day star will do its work

No electric dehydrator for me.

 

These leathery almost sightless strips

Shrunken and dry

Are ready for February

When you bring the sunlight back.

Tom Stock

Tom Stock has been involved in the Long Island environmental and outdoor education community for decades.

He has published two books; THE NISSEQUOGUE RIVER: A JOURNEY and HIDDEN AGENDA; A POETRY JOURNEY.He has also published many essays and poems in such journals as the Long Island Forum and The Long Islander.