Tomato Plant Biker

The food pantry was giving away tomato and pepper plants. Good stock donated by a local nursery. They were going like hotcakes, even the homeless people were taking one or two to grow wherever they lived. It was quite something to consider: homeless people growing tomatoes. I liked considering the idea. It meant hope. Gardening in reality and metaphor to live.

I was outside helping people load their plants and food items into vehicles. I saw an elderly Asian woman loading up a a jury-rigged BMX-type bike with four large vinyl bags full of tomato plants slung across a rack and a basket wired to the handlebars. She was also stuffing a backpack full of food items. She was going to ride away with at least a hundred pounds to transport god knows how far.

The bike was leaning against a small tree as she adjusted and secured the bags. Then it wasn’t. It keeled over to the parking lot. I ran over and righted the bike. I helped her reload. She kept saying “thank you.”

I stepped back and watched her prepare to mount the bike. There was no way she was riding away.

She rode away.