My life is constrained.
My feet are always wet.
As a child the water was slow and cold
but warmed and sped as days passed.
My siblings and I learned no skills
of survival in the hydroponic trough.
No mud fights, no insects to avoid,
sunlight measured out in spoonfuls
according to a formula that governed
the chemicals on which we grew.
Consider adolescence in such a setting:
My leaves were growing and my hormones
were inciting my imagination.
As I looked up and down the line
I could see three or four fellow lettuces
with whom I would welcome contact:
not even a butterfly came
to take a message to them.
My biggest change was the budding
and building of my heart:
it became firm and strong
and attracted positive comment
when I was pulled up without consent.
Torn from my trough, my spirit waned.
There was little sympathy
from those who packed,
bought and sold me.
Eventually I understood my fate –
to be stripped naked,
my heart torn out,
my leaves chopped.
My salad day had come.