I’m breathing in oxygen
exhaled by twenty-six
tomato plants sitting in
my kitchen waiting for
the threat of frost to pass.
I’m sitting in my kitchen with
twenty-six tomato plants
waiting for the threat of
disease to pass. Together
we began this new life.
First quarantined morning
my granddaughter and I
tucked tiny black seeds
into soft black soil. Tucked
the cups beneath a grow
light by the patio doors.
Waited. Not so very long.
Transplanted. Every single
sprout survived, thrived. (As
have we tucked too in this
tiny sheltered world.) Their
leaves tickle my face as I
crouch to water their tender
roots. Swathe me in green
scent, spicy and clean. It
means something, we believe,
to have twenty-six tomato
seedlings surrounding us
smelling of sun and earth.
Sit with them long enough
and they transfer their scent
to your skin so no matter where
you go or do not go you can
breathe the aroma of growth
a peppery scent of green
clean odor of alive in a world
gone gray with dead metal.
As long as we can incubate
tomato plants in the kitchen
raise them to round red thick-
fleshed fruit, simmered into
sauce suffusing Sundays
with the smell of gathered
family seated together around
a table in my kitchen, sharing
the room with the left-over
scent of twenty-six tomato
plants, we can keep alive our
spirit, save ourselves body and
soul, stay healthy and whole,
breathing in oxygen exhaled
by green reaching leaves of
tomato seedlings scenting my
kitchen, our new small world.

2 thoughts on “Breath of Life by Ruth Ann Dandrea

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