Earth Angels

tending cherry tomatoes
I weed their row and tie-off
their stems. okay—

they stand gracefully erect
fruited glockenspiel arrays
hanging here and there
their paired colonnade a miniature arbor
their leaves like wings

halfway up the hill to the house looking back
bunched red globes droop between stakes
along trellis strings like Johann scores on staffs:

a slow scarlet aria near the squash begins
which turns freshly furiously baroque
in tomato arpeggios as if Goldberg himself
were playing variations but subsides at row’s end
pianissimo behind the green beans
where the plants grow small and less prolific
as if fainting in a fifties single’s fade
as the Penguins croon Earth Angel
as a big-holed 45 plays

by Jim Culleny

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