The Act of Canning Tomatoes



“Good to see you alive.”


“Me too.”


“How are you?”


“I’m fine.


Well, plugging away at least.


Sometimes I even forget you are out there.”


I get that rush at your name then anger all over again,


then just sad…


It’s called: Settling.


Replacing thoughts.


I go to work,

working on talking to me, preserving me.


It reminds me of the labor of tomato canning.


Boiling water to remove skin,the squeeze to remove seeds, sanitizing lids and jars,

sweating over the stove, burning fingers, packing the tomatoes tight. Testing, tapping to assure the seal.   


Being the bacteria slayer.


Unpacking rubies to the mudroom shelves….


Unpacking my life,to assemble,store, once more.


Killing bacteria is hard stuff.


Sometimes I wonder of the accuracy of thinking….It is easy to be fooled by illegitimate thoughts.


I am resolved for this minute, this second, this hour, to cut, scald, juice, seal,and hot water bath can.

It is called Self Preservation.


“I am fine.”

“And you?”


First published in Cacti Fur


Published by: Basicallybarb

Barbara A Meier is a poet, teacher, and mother, trying to write her way out of Kansas, anxiety and depression. Instead of indulging in feeling like garbage, trash, or rubbish, she chooses to examine the debris of her life by writing poems about it. After all as a forgiven, child of God, simultaneously saint and sinner, she is loved and cherished by her God.

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