Maria’s Tuscan Salad

Leave me alone, Maria
Take your vinaigrette
Capers and red peppers
And be done with it

Leave me be, Maria
Your salad of artichokes
Extra virgin olive oil
Makes me be a virgin

Leave me crying, Maria
That I lost the tomatoes
This growing season
Never more to slice

Leave me still, Maria
As I grieve the Kalamatas
That once graced my bowl
Now only Bermuda remnants

Leave me ripe, Maria
With hearts of palm
Mozzarella cheese curds
And heirlooms for home

–by Victoria Emmons, 2014

from “Word Movers”, An Anthology of Creative Writings by Seniors, City of Oakland, 2014