This one summer they bloom
from pots, vines, over fences,
hang in fat secret bunches, thick
as grapes with little green jester hats;

and when you pop one in your mouth
on the way home from work:
archetypal tomato burst on your tongue,
tomato essence, tomato heaven,

better than Big Boy, Early Girl,
better than supermarket,
better even than farmer’s market;
so in September you are not surprised

that despite darkening days
and the specter of frost,
their hairy green branches still divide,
elongate, erupt into small yellow flowers,

hardening into little peas
which will never redden, never swell
with pregnant flesh, juice, seeds—
because it’s just old nature again,
that sweet profusion, that impending death.

Carol Gloor’s work has been published in many online and hard copy journals, most recently in “Helen Presents.” She has upcoming work in “Rust Belt Chicago” and “DuPage Valley Review.” Her full length collection, “Falling Back,” will be published by WordTech LLC in 2018.