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.



At first cry
the doctor decrees
"It’s a boy”
which sets a course.

We choose your name,
to carry for life, our gift to you.
Eric, Old Norse for “one ruler, ever in power”.
Middle name after your father, John.

We cannot conceive the years of struggle,
the mismatch you’ve felt to find true you,
using your ever-power to declare,
you are woman and decree

a new name, Anna you chose from mother roots,
and Kari, the girl-name we picked
but never used. We embrace all that is true,
all that is authentically you.

We feel your joy,  your emerging spirit
growing into the new name given, yet as
mother and father, we ache for the old name now gone.
the given name now gone.

© 2019 House of the Tomato