Jane Ledwell

Last Tomato

Overnight, the frost has undone
summer’s willful tangle,
leaving tomato plants darkened
to the colour of stopped blood.

My windowsill holds
summer’s last tomato.
I’m sorry that at breakfast
mouthful by mouthful
a season’s slow burst
will disappear.

Two hundred foreshortened days leave
two hundred dark-lengthened nights to pale
hothouse imitations that might, by the end,
begin to convince us:

because snow comes to mask
the stripped mountain ash
and its last clench of berries,
and some days contain nothing
that is red by its own nature.

Let my tongue speak
the final bloom of memory
so this last bite does not break
faith with time, so its vegetable
sweetness remains
believable, in the moments
you taste my mouth

and let my kiss
flush your cheeks
before the frostburnt wind
can touch you, too.

← Older Newer →