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DISPATCH: I Say Tomayto, You Say Tomahto
Posted on October 5, 2006 by Anita Roddick

Tomatoes - I always say are the reason why I am always so pathologically optimistic, (although you wouldnít guess that from my blog..!). Just look at the Italians, you hardly find a miserable old sod on that landscape. There may be plenty of self absorption (young men), plenty of corruption (politicians), plenty of bribery (academics), but so little down and out depression.

In celebration of National Poetry Day in England today I wanted to share with you a poem that I came upon in the ĎNew American Poets of the 1990ísí over a decade ago and it charmed me then, and still charms me now.

A woman travels to Brazil for plastic
surgery and a face lift. She is sixty
and has the usual desire to stay pretty.
Once she is healed, she takes her new face
out on the streets of Rio. A young man
with a gun wants her money. Bang, sheís dead.
The body is shipped back to New York,
but in the morgue there is a mix-up. The son
is sent for. He is told that his mother
is one of these ten different women.
Each has been shot. Such is modern life.
He studies them all but couldnít find her.
With her new face, she has become a stranger.
Maybe itís this one, maybe itís that one.
He looks at their breasts. Which ones nursed him?
He presses their hands to his cheek.
Which ones consoled him? He even tries
climbing into their laps to see which
feels the most familiar but the coroner stops him.
Well, says the coroner which is your mother?
They all are, says the young man, let me
take them as a package. The coroner hesitates,
then agrees. Actually, it solved a lot of problems.
The young man has the ten women shipped home.
then cremated them all together. Youíve seen
how some people have a little urn on their mantel?
The man has a huge silver garbage can.
In the spring, he drags the garbage can
out to the garden, and begins working the teeth,
the ash, the bits of bone into the soil.
Then he plants tomatoes. His mother loved tomatoes.
They grew straight from seed, so fast and big
that the young man is amazed. He takes the first
ten into the kitchen. In their roundness,
he sees his motherís breasts. In their smoothness,
he finds the consoling touch of her hands.
Mother, mother, he cries and he flings himself
on the tomatoes. Forget about the knife, the fork,
the pinch of salt. Try to imagine the filial
starvation, think of the ravenous kisses.

Stephen Dobyns

Topic : Funny
Posted By : Anita Roddick
Posted On : October 5, 2006



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2 results found

Re : I Say Tomayto, You Say Tomahto
By kirk boyd on October 6, 2006

In celebration of National Poetry Day I'd like to submit my favoite poem to keep me going to work for social change in the face of adversity. It's by Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne

Sometimes when the fights begin
I think I'll let the dragons win
But then again perhaps I won't
Because they're dragons --
and I don't.

Re : I Say Tomayto, You Say Tomahto
By Hannah on October 5, 2006

I had a pretty rough day today..until I read this blog! =) hahaha. It made my day. Thank you! Looking forward to more humorous poems. =)


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