When you were born
I canned thirty-six jars of plum tomatoes.
They followed me for seven years
until I felt debt free and tipped the last ten down the toilet.
When your father died
I stopped eating tomatoes
fearing revenge for my shameless flushing,
even though we burned him clear
his box glued shut and polished weekly
with pine oil and old time elbow grease.
I’m done with canning
and widowing and worrying
— postponing rot;
It’s not my job to see us through to spring.