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.


Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.

Game Day

Okay, after I went to the writer's conference in Chicago and heard editors talk about the kinds of submissions they'd like to see (not that there's any connection, really, it's just how it occurred to me), I had this brainwave of developing a hybrid offering of an essay + poem on the same topic. They could be about things I've always meant to learn, or places I've always wanted to go, or whatever.


I decided to "practice" on something close to home. I got to go to a Packers game with my father in early October, and it got me thinking about what a *treasured* experience it was for me, for anybody living in Green Bay. Further, it made me wonder if outsiders were curious about what football life is like for those of us who live here.


Here's the poem:

Game Day

Brilliance in the sky, halo of light
around trees the color of fire.

We wear colors, no jackets,
the dexterity of plastic cups playing

squares. We ask about rules, 
stepping off the sidewalk, rooting.

We are at an angle for          
illumination, passing slant.

Bass notes thump tympanic,
crossing the street closed for fans. 

A police officer conducts traffic. 
We link arms, streaming fandom.

Sizzle smell with relish, long arc of a
football, gleam of wet leaves, faces.

Tickets give us permission. Inside the
echo, feet like drumbeats, legacy.

We sit in a bowl of excitement,
air tasting like beer, effervescence.

Imbued with that crazy splendor, 
a place for each and every one of us,

we rub elbows, souls, touching down
the miracle, goals of field.

We are at an angle for          
illumination, passing slant.

And here's a link to the long-form:

When I told my daughter the hybrid idea, she thought it was a great idea for those that didn't *get* poetry.

Give me your thoughts on the general idea and/or each piece.

© 2019 House of the Tomato