Originally posted on Retrozine Issue 3, 2003

The year my marriage died, the garden flourished.
Perhaps it was a gift
To tide me over
To keep me busy and to feed the children.
I came home every night and canned tomatoes.

The children thought it fun to raid the garden.
They played Bugs Bunny
Stealing Elmer’s carrots.
Mock-scolding, I gave thanks for the abundance
And filled the canner with some more tomatoes.

The lawyers did their work; I signed the papers.
My mind awhirl
I limited my thinking
To cooking, cleaning, and the big decision:
What should I make tonight from those tomatoes?

The jeweled jars a-sparkle in the cupboards
With whole and stewed
Varieties of sauces
Proclaimed there would be food to last the winter.
How glad I was the children loved tomatoes.

In time my foggy mind began to focus.
I looked upon my garden
Still prolific,
Put up the canner, tidied up the kitchen
And gave my neighbors baskets of tomatoes.