“WRITE A STORY ABOUT A VEGETABLE”

was the prompt that made me leave a writing class 

after two lessons 

back in the sixth grade.

Mom and I agreed that the homework was silly. 

The first assignment was to 

“write a story about a fruit”—

I felt condescended to.

I wrote about Sally the strawberry

with all the indignant malice a ten year old can feel

          (which is a lot)

and when that second prompt was passed around the table

I thought it was a joke. I wouldn’t go back.

I’ve been through years of creative writing programs since

written about the things I thought deserved it

          which in retrospect is mostly whiny pseudointellectualism

now I am taking care of your plants while you’re away

watching as the tomatoes 

                & the peppers

                (of which you sent me pictures when they first sprouted)

bear their first fruit.

and I think if I’d known there were stories

about vegetables as important as this one,

I’d have gone back for a third lesson.