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Tending Tomatoes

Tending Tomatoes
Laden, they can't stand on their own.
What you need to do is sink a post
Every six feet or so, then run wire
Between them to tie the stems to
With lengths of twine shaped
Like the symbol for infinity.
Suckers take energy from the parent stem,
Like sons who should have been
Cut off long ago. If allowed to grow
Too long, they can shear off,
And, in the long wounds they leave
As if out of spite, rot can take root.
The time to take a tomato is when
It seems not quite fully ripe.
If you leave them on the vine
Too long, they'll grow full of themselves
And start to split, like the grinning
Dead in photographs.

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