Down in the Greenhouse

by Flora Thomas

Summers ago

I went tomato picking in the greenhouse.

I remember it so well –

The hot, sticky smell of the air around us

Contrasting with the cool, strangely calming smell of the fruit,

Shiny, red and speckled,

Wonderfully different from all others,

It was the one for me.

Small and round

But hard at the same time.

My sister always gulped hers down

Quick as a flash.

I remember her face.

Not me.

I peeled off the skin

Oh, so very gently,

One strip at a time,

Then placed it on my tongue

And shut my mouth.

I heard the buzzing of the bees

In their own world

Working for their queen,

The rustling of leaves, and

My mother laughing at our messy faces.