Each in its ill-thrown plastic pot
grown three feet or more,
Thriving in what is not
Terra cotta, standing at war
With wind and thunderstorm,
reaching every arm
in a drooping clutch
Of green globes. They have filled the form
Of cherry, marble, golf ball, such
That even as the nights grow warm
Past reason, still I must come touch
Them in the dark, to ward off harm.
But weight now bows the slender vines.
bend as if their fruit
lead; as if the lines
That tied them to the stake from root
stem to final leaf
not be strong enough.
Instead, before they burn,
They mean to hang their heads in grief
For having ripened, each in turn.
And whether rain or gale or thief
Shall rob them of the place they earn,
I leave to those of sterner stuff.