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.

A Child, Maybe Your Child (my big edit. 4.25.18)

Epigram:  One in five transgender individuals have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives…due to Family rejection, discrimination and violence….that accounts for 20-40% of 1.6 million homeless youth in the U.S --- National Center for Transgender Equality:

 (Tori, Note: I went for feels. alliteration and explosive consonants. )

A Child, Maybe Your Child

Somewhere a grown-child,
maybe your child,
wanders the streets with a backpack
like a cast out kitten, your kin, kicked out
looking for a doorway, a ditch

a bridge to crawl under
away from the chill, the curl of wind,
needing to curl up
for sleep, or find supper and shelter.

Somewhere there are two or three
who find each other under that bridge
huddled, hungering, horrified,
afraid of

“What If”
someone comes over,
comes on to them,
to harm, hurt, hurl insults
because of how they look,
who they are.

Did you know
a child, maybe your child,
spent hours, days, even years
depressed, discerning, dreaming
how to escape
from the person they pretended to be.

Trusting, they came to you,
then came out, confessed, cared
enough about themselves
to push forward with genuine gender.

Perhaps you reacted
with your expectations around
their dress, their hair,
who they should like, even love.

 Did you think about
where they went that day you yelled,
and slammed the door,
that day, you shut out,
forced out, sent your child
to the street?

Somewhere a grown-child,
maybe your child
yearns for sleep without sirens,
begs for a bed without bright lights.

Somewhere, they are out there,
hugging their backpacks for comfort,
bone cold on a bench,
hungering for home.

© 2018 House of the Tomato