Cruise the tomato bed

Look for red ripeness among green

Spread vines, “Ah, there’s one.”

Stoop and fondle the candidate

Feel its weight and softness

Say to yourself, “Ah, this one is heavy with its juices.”

Hold it firmly, twist to break the connection


Recall all the work to reach this point

This fruit carries the history of the seed it came from


Digging compost

Starter trays with sterile mix

Planting seed, nursing seedlings

Watering, mulching, weeding

Planting, staking, trolling progress

Waiting, waiting, waiting,


Bring that perfect fruit into the kitchen

Slice it, sprinkle a few grains of salt…

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.

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