We were breakneck farmers,
my Father and I, planting tomatoes,
writing the scripts of our lives.
Rains stopped their drizzle,
wrapped us with a mild chill,
seasons changed their tone,
from green to yellow ochre.
Father hobbled from plant to plant,
he mulched the ground, pushed his
pen over stories told which I denied,
supposing his tales will never yield;
I watched the plants flower
on every node. In the tug of war
of gender and age, time marked us –
a beeline of our letters grew apart.
Father and daughter grew
tomatoes together, writing unsure
verses, cynical and out of tune,
we dreamt of red, round tomatoes
amidst the cymbal-clash of our wills;
every day we fell apart
bitter and old, loud and rough,
but in our balcony we grew tomatoes,
wrote poems no one read.
Baby tomatoes mellowed as
our shades of blue turned from
a young green to an autumn red.
Babitha Marina Justin is from Kerala, and her poems have appeared in many international journals like Eclectica, Esthetic Apostle, Fulcrum, The Scriblerus, Chaleur Magazine, Constellations, etc. Her poetry collections are, ‘Of Fireflies, Guns and the Hills’ (2015) and ‘I Cook my own Feast’ (2019).