Originally posted here in September of 2015.
Dates to 2000 or so following the death of a close friend at Easter that year; the original is long lost.
This is an attempt to recreate it, knowing I’m no longer the person who wrote that original.
RIP, Terry Warren.
I come home
I go to my backyard bed
and pick whatever’s ripe
for my favorite summer meal:
thick-sliced plum tomatoes,
a few shreds of basil,
balsamic vinegar, light on the olive oil.
You once questioned me:
why not the more traditional Mozzarella?
I said it’s because I feel that
strong blues make flavors pop
and without strong flavors,
what’s the point?
You tasted it, agreed, told me later
you could no longer imagine
not using a strong blue cheese
in a tomato salad, and I was as well pleased
as I could be that we’d fallen once again into
the same place on something.
I remember this as I stare into
strong blues and bright reds in this bowl,
stare into oil bubbles,
a brown slick of vinegar, remember
you weren’t here to help me
plant this year, to plant the beds with me
scant weeks after your passing;
weren’t here to help me weed
and toss and water and feed;
realize as if for the first time
that you aren’t here to help me savor
the likely last summer salad of the year,
of the inevitable