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.

Sharing Clothes with my Daughter

When I was a teen
I borrowed clothes from my mother.
Her thick-knit Irish sweater.
Her favorite white blouse. The red scarf.
A cameo necklace to wear with my prom dress.

As a mother of sons we didn't share clothes,
except when they went off to college
leaving their high school windbreakers behind,
and I grabbed a jacket for raking the yard
and taking out the garbage.

It was a few months after the initial shock wore off
of my transitioning child becoming woman
that we went through my closet together.
Her budget was tight, my clothes were tighter.
I started in the middle of the closet. Pulled out

the green sweater, several pairs of slacks,
in blue, black and brown,
two pairs of boot-cut jeans,
scarves, all shapes of color
that could be folded and draped multiple ways.

She tried on pants and knit tops,
rejecting many of them as any fussy
going-through-puberty teen might do
who just started hormone therapy.
She scrutinized my skirts

and pant suits laid across the bed.
Finally selecting a stack of clothes
to take home with her.
I always wondered what it would be like
to raise a teen daughter.

And to my surprise -- now I have an adult one --
our heads bent over my jewelry box
fingering pierced earrings and necklaces.
She, holding them up to her throat,
the soft brush of her hand pushing her hair out of the way.

 

© 2017 House of the Tomato