Ode to the Tomato

Ketchup is not a vegetable

I am loved in the raw—
right out of the garden—
sun-kissed or sun-dried,
or, if I’m down South
& haven’t yet ripened,
battered & fried.
Kids love me made into soup,
& when I’ve become old & quite rotten,
I’m thrown at actors best forgotten.
Though I’m actually a fruit,
I identify with the vegetables—
for they let me be a part of their salad.
They accept me,
seeds & all.