A POEM: A tomato grower’s lament starts our new poetry feature

COOPER, Iowa, September 2013 — As we launch the new Offenburger.com, another of our new features is offering a poem here on a regular basis.  We hope most of these are written by you, our readers.  Carla Offenburger, avid gardener and poet, begins the series with a delightful poem telling how her thinking changes about her tomatoes from harvest time to the depths of winter.


Part 1: Tomatoes in August

Red, bright, sweet, plentiful.
More and more.
Bucket after bucket.
Oh please, grasshoppers eat the tomatoes.
When is a frost expected?
Salsa – both fresh and canned.
Tomato soup and more tomato soup.
Spaghetti sauce.
Bags of give-aways – gifts to the non-gardener.
Tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella cheese.
Tomatoes and crunchy peanut butter sandwiches.
Sliced, diced served with cottage cheese.
Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes.
You only think of yourself!
What about the green beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers and squash?
They all have to be eaten, canned and processed too.
Oh please stop growing, stop turning red.
Please –
Stop.  Stop.  Stop.

Part 2: Tomatoes in February

Oh how I long for your freshness
your realness.
I miss you.  I love you.
I cannot wait until spring
to caress you, plant you, encourage you to
grow and to ripen.


Carla Offenburger is an avid gardener at her country home outside Cooper in west central Iowa.  She also is an occasional poet, having written verse since her high school years.  You can write her at carla@Offenburger.com.

One thought on “A POEM: A tomato grower’s lament starts our new poetry feature

  1. BLT’s and sweet corn, the best Iowa summer meal!!
    Crunchy peanut butter and tomato sandwich, that’s a new one on me. Will have to try it. We still have one flat of tomatos that were plucked before the frost. They are not as good as the August tomatos but still taste better than store-bought.

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