“Get that tomato, there, and that one,” she
says as she points with her cane and holds
my arm. We have walked the short space from
the back porch to her late August garden,
tomatoes too ripe, yellow-green peppers
in threes bursting through the dry. Doing
as I’m told, I pick the red ones, snap off
the best peppers and set them, one by one,
on the brown grass. If this moment is as
large as it seems right now, I must
surrender it, give up my self to a will
neither mine nor hers, listen when she says
“When Petey was small, we had a summer this
dry. Get those peppers.” No pause between
what was and what is, she points again. We
turn and walk back. Then, trading my arm
for the porch rail, she says, “I can make it
from here.” And now I return, as if I am
not alone, to gather her sweet gifts.