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When I bite into the bruise-
colored flesh of this heirloom tomato
known as a Cherokee Purple,
I’m transported back to the dirt road
that ran along the Meramec River
where my father pulled over
at the farm stand, then stepped out
of the truck, brushed for a moment
in gravel dust suspended in the sun.
He came back grinning, gripping
a bag of homegrown Beefsteaks so fat
they were already bursting their juices
through the brown paper, running
down his long-gone hands, which I am
reaching out to touch again before
he turns the key in the ignition,
begging him not to go, not just yet,
as I salt the next slice.
Copyright 2021 James Crews.
James Crews’s books include Blue Bird (Green Writers Press, 2020). He teaches at SUNY-Albany and leads Mindfulness & Writing workshops across the country.