Poem: The Saving Grace of Things You Do Not Eat

2013-10-12 00-27-09

The Saving Grace of Things You Do Not Eat

The sun washes over the tomatoes.
You stop and swallow the perfect color,
bright and firm, the deep red skin, the green, green stems.

The truth is, you don’t like tomatoes.
Their harsh acid cuts and burns
and leaves you gasping, gagging.

But still, you cannot deny their beauty,
a beauty worth savoring, worth clinging to
on dark days like this,

when your mind is overactive, lying
and only an intimate enemy can,
preying on your weakest joints,

in the places where you are knit together,
fragile and timeworn by the anger of others,
your broken places.

And you know the war is not won in fire and fury,
in drama and declarations,
but in acts of acceptance,

acceptance of the small gifts of God
like these tomatoes in all their glory
that you will never eat.

About this poem

I was taught by my therapist, that when the depression rises, to slow down, to focus on the small gifts that every day brings. A fine cup of coffee. The tendrils of dark hair that sometimes falls down my love’s face. A cat purring in my lap as I read. The cool wind on my face.

See them. Savor them. Remind your brain that life is full of beautiful gifts. It is a powerful tool, savoring the good in our lives. And the worst of things is ultimately helpless against it.

And, thanks to Donald Trump for the fire and fury line. I am not a fan of the man on any front, but that phrase deserved a better context. As an early writing teacher once told me, “Writers plagiarize. Poets steal with panache.”.

The truth is, I really do hate tomatoes. I gag when I try to eat them. But I think a lot of things in life are beautiful and wonderful that I’ll never do or eat or drink. Beauty’s everywhere. Even in tomatoes.

Tom

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