Poetry Sunday: September Tomatoes by Karina Borowicz

For the first time in my memory, we didn't plant a vegetable garden this year so we didn't have any September tomatoes. Or October tomatoes. I miss them. I miss their special sweetness. I even miss the fruit flies and the "whisky stink of rot." Next year...

September Tomatoes

by Karina Borowicz

The whiskey stink of rot has settled
in the garden, and a burst of fruit flies rises
when I touch the dying tomato plants.

Still, the claws of tiny yellow blossoms
flail in the air as I pull the vines up by the roots
and toss them in the compost.

It feels cruel. Something in me isn’t ready
to let go of summer so easily. To destroy
what I’ve carefully cultivated all these months.
Those pale flowers might still have time to fruit.

My great-grandmother sang with the girls of her village
as they pulled the flax. Songs so old
and so tied to the season that the very sound
seemed to turn the weather.


  1. So true. What we carefully plant and nurture we rip unceremoniously from the ground and toss on the compost heap. An ignominious end to a plant that gave us so much.

  2. I can identify with the poet.

  3. She captures this time of year so well! I love that line "Something in me isn't ready to let go of summer so easily." I so can understand that feeling. :D

  4. I'm sorry you are not doing a fall garden this year. Our fall gardens are usually our best gardens.


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