tomato season


wed arrive in darkness,

just before light,

and for a few seconds

gaze in silence

across the majestic grandness,

this holy ground

of furrowed greens, deep red jewels

that rolled endlessly

towards the mountains of Mariposa

and into the morning sun

our crew, a busload

of bundled , heavily wrapped


bent, aching bodies

armed with sacks, buckets, lugs,

to fill big trailers

stepped wearily into the rows


and army of dark lines

bent silhouettes,

pulling back vines,

plunging, picking

no longer feeling the pain

ripping and tearing

at our skins,

long, brutal miles

of furrowed dirt,

suffocating dust and heat

as we march steadily


into that ruthless

fiery sun


Charles Mariano