Sunday, July 23, 2023

Notes from a Tomato Festival

Yesterday, we went to a farmer's market in a neighboring town--they were having a tomato festival, and their farmer's market is bigger than the one I usually go to.  I'd been wanting a wider variety of veggies, so off we went.

Here are the things that made this tomato festival day different from other days:

--The most noticeable thing:  a long table full of paper plates containing half a tomato sandwich.  Free tomato sandwiches!  Each sandwich was made on white bread, with Duke's mayonnaise, the way God intended.  There was salt and pepper.  It was delicious without salt and pepper.

--There was a booth where we could vote for our favorite tomato, advertised as a beauty contest.  The booth attendant gave us a ticket to drop in a cup.  I voted for the tomato least likely to win, small and ordinary.  My spouse voted for the one who hadn't gotten any votes.

--As we left, we noticed a woman in a tomato costume.  Was she officially part of the event or just deeply in the spirit of the festival?

I savored our time there.  I have a feeling that some day soon we'll look back with nostalgia, on a time  when we could enjoy a Saturday ramble through a farmer's market, saying no thank you to cannabis infused iced tea and happily munching free tomato sandwiches.  We came home with a variety of veggies and some whoopie pies made by a young entrepreneur, and life seemed full.

Could I write a poem without sounding maudlin?  Or cliched?  I'm thinking about returning to the figure of Cassandra.  Maybe she's given up making projections.  Maybe she sits on a deck overlooking the mountains, shelling beans that she grew, remembering a long ago day when the tomato sandwiches were free and the cost of so much modern life remained hidden.

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