Ode to the First Garden Tomato
Pass through the garden
Red glimmer in your eye
A plump tomato
sags precariously on a limpid vine
Reach out to pat its bottom
Swoon as it rolls into your palm instead
Brush the dust from its taut skin
Bring it to your nose with a thrill
Take your first long,
of a thousand summer memories
When the leaves change I think
of that time after you died, when I saw
you in a stranger passing by
with your stride, and your smile,
and you looked straight into my eyes
when he gave me your signature nod.
You loved this time of year
when geese pass through periwinkle sky,
and the quivering leaves await
their release from gnarled boughs.
You loved the anticipation of change
even though you lived
in fear of it.
Letter to the Previous Owner of This Book
About Leah Hanley
Leah Hanley is currently a graduate student in the M.A. English program at the University of North Dakota. She is an Air Force veteran, a private pilot, and a graduate teaching assistant of English Composition. In her free time she enjoys cross-stitching, cooking, puzzles, reading, traveling, and playing board games with family.