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.

Behold the Girlfriend

Our eldest son and his wife started a new tradition where just our family gathers like the week before Christmas and have our own quiet celebration. It's very lovely, and I don't have to do anything. Bring wine (which I can do). Well, this year the gathering marked the falling apart of Ferg's relationship with Danielle, but they both came and "pretended" while the rest of us all knew what was going on. It was awkward as ass (as the kids say). Not sure about the "behold," but I couldn't help myself. I thought this girl had more sense. She is so together in some ways. Alas. The left edge is meant to convey the back-and-forthness we all felt.

Behold the Girlfriend

Her paleness recuses the situation.

         We consider the awkwardness,

my son a wrinkled shirt, wide, salamander eyes.

         Her chin curves boomerang, blithe.

Ice floes in a punchbowl, knocking glass.

          Roast pork sizzles and smokes.

The baby's fair hair wings cherubic,

          toddling from box to ball to stuffed dog.

My son the father tries to play catch.

         My other daughter tosses fruit,

seeds of pomegranate like ruby bullets.

          We pretend to open presents.

The girlfriend uproots a fortress with the wood seed.

         What must she read in her palm?

Smalltalk lights a fuse in the living space.

          Plenty has been said, her monosyllables: Love. Less.

Still he fans the air, hoping. He would still try for

          the ringlets, golden boy, what they can't uncouple.

© 2019 House of the Tomato