My tomato sprouted; rather, the tomato I threw into the back yard this spring is growing a thin stem. I bought the tomato so that I could put slices on sandwiches. But when I cut it open, the inside was already black, rotten. I’m really not much of a gardener. But I love my new yellow stem. It’s slender and bends to one side like it’s reaching. At first, I was concerned about its yellow color, its lack of chlorophyll. I tenderly watered it, made sure to place mulch and fertilize it, to stake it with a skewer (the plant is that small.) But it still didn’t grow. Yet it didn’t just die. I could have tried to transplant it, moved it to another part of the yard, but I won’t. A philosopher once wrote that it is a human’s right to suffer, so I bestow that right to my tomato plant. If it wants to bend over and let its top touch the ground, it can, and I won’t bother it anymore.
By Elizabeth Deanna Morris Lakes