A Whitefly Waste
Tonight, in the garden, the air is moist.
Tiny whiteflies have been roused by the sprinkler
from their egg-laying orgies on the undersides
of the tomato plants’ fuzzy leaves.
On occasion, I have felt the whiteflies
get lost in my ear, or consumed by my breath.
They are smaller than aphids,
and sprightly like gnats.
Considered by science an agricultural blight,
they will be losing their colony in my tomato plants tomorrow.
The paper ran an article advising homeowners:
Remove all plants where the whitefly is found swarming.
The problem for the farmers is the growth stage
from egg to larvae,
which occurs on the underside of leaves,
and interrupts the photosynthesis
and respiration of the plant.
Reduction in the leaf function
causes the fruit of the plant
to be mal-nourished, resulting
in a paling and veininess
in the surface of the fruit.
My tomatoes have these symptoms.
Thanks to the wise media report,
I know why my tomatoes have blemishes
and I know what to do about it.
I am to tear out all of the tomato plants.
I will put them all into the yard waste bin.
The waste management people will come
and empty the yard waste bin
into the huge green recycling truck.
Then my tomatoes won’t have any more blemishes,
And I will have no more tomatoes.