For my mother, for your mother, for the mother in me, for the mother in you, and for the Great Mother.
The tender leaves of the brandy-wine have grown cut and distinct
from those of the beefsteak.
They are ready to begin the process of becoming hardened-off
for the world outside.
Moving tomato starts from house to garden,
from perpetual day under ultraviolet light
to cycles of day and night;
exposing them to sun and moon shine,
to rain and wind–
acts of faith.
I blow them kisses,
I pray for their survival.
I remember the careful sowing of seeds–
the tending, the watering, the watching.
In three days, I will gently tease their dense roots.
I will place them in prepared soil.
I will intuit the pleasure of moving
from the boundaries of a small pot into earth expansive.
*I wrote this poem as a young mother in a rare and quiet moment with a writer-friend at a local cafe. It first appeared, in an earlier version, in the first edition of Voice Catcher, an Anthology of New Writing by Portland-Area Women, 2006.