Original Poetry: Home Grown Tomatoes

I’m young;
and I did not expect
to live to be this old.
Maybe it was the three
who left in auto accidents,
the one of stomach cancer
and the other of leukemia
while I was in high school.
Later, it was my lover’s
best friend beaten in the alley
between the pub and gay bar.
Josh was shot in Minneapolis.
Jeremy took his own life.
Toby became a mere quilt panel
for the Postmodern plague.

I worry about 401K plans
and wonder what happened
to my tragic or beautiful
or Romeo & Juliet, blend-
of-the-two ending.
Now I have my rent money
before it’s due and watch
a musical whose writer
never saw its phenomenon status.
Maybe I’m just not famous
enough and should tackle Wall Street
and a computer language.
I could travel, but
that would contradict
the garden I’ve always wanted.
I want to spend my summer
with a good book, lemonade
and home grown tomatoes.
I can live with that.
Why couldn’t Jeremy?

[Jaffa’s note: I find myself dusting off this poem from fifteen years ago despite it’s Juvenile qualities. It mentions a friend, Jeremy, who had taken his own life twenty years ago. At the time I wrote this, a second friend had just done the same and I needed to grieve and understand. Then ten years ago, a third friend took his life. It’s now been two years since a fourth friend did the same. There’s a lot I want to say and even more that I want to understand. However, for now, I will merely re-read an old poem that helped me once.] 
[Check out other original poems here.]


4 responses to “Original Poetry: Home Grown Tomatoes

  1. I’m glad I my curiosity led me to read to the bottom of the page.
    I hope re-reading this marker of milestones in your life helps you cope with whatever made you dust it off.
    I’m sending you positive energy so you can say all you need to say and gain more understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Powerful words, and I appreciate you sharing the harrowing story behind this piece. Like the previous reader, nothing but warmth and positive vibes your way.

    Liked by 1 person

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