Fried Green Tomato Heart

The outside, crispy, fried, like onion ring
The inside, tangy meat and juicy sweet
Dinner fare of southern peasant and king
All, at dignity’s table, dine and meet
Cloth-covered picnic tables, drink wine, sing
Raise arms, clink cups, spin tales, laugh deep, tap 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 from whence this secret knowledge 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, she’s 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; sweet Bama, alas.

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.


This poem was written for the Tweetspeak Poetry prompt calling for sonnets. Actually the above is not really a sonnet, but rather closer to an “ottava rima”. Hope that’s ok. I had fun with the subject matter. 
And  a bit of trivia I learned: fried green tomatoes are thought to have originated in the Northeast and Midwest, and among the Jewish community! Pretty cool, huh. I always thought it was a southern invention, but according to what I’ve read, that is probably unlikely.  Anyway, if you have a chance to try a southern fried green tomato — go for it. It is surprisingly delicious.