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.


Tori--here's the tough poem I've been needing to write. I started it late last night--edited a lot this morning. Line length is variable--no pattern here--I make breaks where emphasis is needed. Not sure if I should put it into a specific form. It's still a fresh write--wanted to know what you think.


I hold a split milkweed as seed spills to the wind
planting a future.
My trans-daughter says she saved her man-seed,
just in case.
Maybe a family. 
As hormone therapy begins, estrogen will make her
I learn with each conversation of her transitioning life.
Sterile, rings like an empty echo pounding a hollow drum.
My child still filled with legacy, banks precious sperm.
It's expensive to store this priceless package.
Frozen somewhere in another city.
She buys time with safe keeping.
A year later I ask her, "Did you renew?"
I learn my child spent the year in deep discussion,
she and her wife deciding to abandon the dream.
No children.
No more storage.
No more expense.
They let the sperm go.
For days I picture a god in white lab coat
throwing out,
flushing away
a bloodline.
My autumn days cloud with grief,
a shroud of ‘never’ hangs around me--
for the grandchild miscarried in my mind.
(She tells me it wasn't a very good sample anyway).
Cryogenics keeps the promise, but thrown away
I cry over her genetics.
This short autumn day steals away the light
I hold a dry pod in my hand
watch seed let go to the wind
with nowhere to land.


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