variety and value

once upon a time
there were no
“heirloom” tomatoes

there were just
tomatoes

all of them
different-colored,
oddly shaped,
raucously irregular
and unpredictable

eventually the ones
who were most uniform
were the ones chosen
by industrialization

planted row after row after row
packaged up and consumed while
their wilder relatives
were slowly choked out of
existence

now the heirlooms
are making a comeback,
the tomatoes are allowed
to intermingle
and they’re more expensive
than their uniform
cousins

is this the only way
we can understand the
beauty of wildness?

to nearly choke it out for its
unruliness and then
fawn over it as it nears
extinction?

this is
too common
a story.