My grandfather Joe grew tomatoes
nearly the size of melons.
I recall vividly at four
sneaking out of his house
on a warm July Sunday morning
into a labyrinth of dewy entanglement.
The rebuke for picking a tomato
was disappointing. I was
banished from the dense garden
where trellises hefted peas,
beans, and grapes up to the roofline
of the shanty single car garage.
Joe was patient, methodical,
virtues that did not grow in me,
as I wished to grow skyward
with a different strain of seed
that found harvest in allegory,
metaphor, and entangled poetry.