FRIED GREEN TOMATO HEART
The outside, crispy, fried, like onion ring
The inside, tangy meat, and juicy sweet
Dinner fare of both southern peasant, king
All dignity’s table, dine and meet—
Round picnic tables, cloth-covered, and sing
Raise arms, clink cups, laugh deep, tap the feet.
Under shady pines–it’s where they taste best
In picnic summers, delectable fest.
Those southern fried-grown, they’re all taught to know
From Alabama’s deep, innermost heart
Is where this knowledge, preserved, doth flow
Where humble green debuted, made its first start
A secret kept, prepared, wins best of show,
Tethered to land, may she never depart.
If stolen, then summoned, called back home
And guarded, protected– subject of poem.
Now if it’s the homegrown should try to leave
‘Twill be summoned back to her native land,
Won’t make it past Kentucky, rolling green —
Where she’ll be stopped– nowhere else loved as grand,
Cause in Alabama, she’s truly free.
The Appalachians themselves lend a hand,
They move aside, divide, letting her pass
Till she nestles down soft, in home-sweet grass.
And the Alabama folks, they all know
To leave a spot empty on dinner plate
For the humble and proud green tomato
To settle down, and live, beside her mate.
Fried green tomato hearts really can’t go
It is their destiny, ultimate fate
To reside beside where they’re meant to be–
Smack dab between ribs and sweetened iced tea.