House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.

GREEN BAY / NORTHEAST

Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.

Spoons - Tori, August 30

Spoons

 

For a week we live in the rounded belly harbor

of a cabin in the woods on a lake with a dock

and a tree-lined horizon, sand castles crumbling 

overnight next to bright pink shovels and a wet 

towel turban left behind in a hurry for marshmallows, 

chocolate and maybe graham crackers, the right 

amount of sweet especially if my nephew roasts 

them; he will be on his way to college this time 

next year; he burns them a bubbly golden brown 

like caramel like his hands and face from working 

in the boatyard, except for his feet which are still 

whiter than whipped sugar; his dad palms him a 

beer which he drinks slowly, holding it by the neck 

like a bugle; water slaps the hull of a boat; a 

descending mooniness traps the open spaces, 

fluttering the birds on the branches which tweet, 

rustle and chirp in the night kitchen where my nieces 

and I sit at the polished plank table playing spoons; 

twin girls aged seven they kneel growing bones on two 

southwest chairs angled close together; my mother, 

ever present at the table, helps with the rules which 

they understand with propped elbows, fanned cards: 

the game begins. Their eager blue-grey eyes wait

for cards passed one by one in the four-cornered

suits: clubs, spades, diamonds, hearts; upside-down

smiles the quick study way they sneak spoons, leaving 

me spectacularly spoonless; oh, auntie, the nieces 

and nephew say, acknowledging our connection, 

the smooth shine slipped under the arms.

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