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.

Endless Summer

We were eleven
growing into boy crazy,
sunbathing in baby oil
adhesive tape on our thighs
making a W on our skin that
tanned everywhere, but there.
The white W reflected the boy we liked: William.

It was the summer of
"Where the Boys Are"
"School's Out for the Summer"
“Johnny Angel”

It was the summer of camping out in the back yard,
olive green pup tent pitched under the big maple.
Popcorn, pillows, flashlights,
transistor radio singing "Big Girls Don't Cry"
and "We Sang in the Sunshine ".
Next morning sun rose hot on the dark tent.
We flung the door flaps open to remnants of
a scattered deck of cards,
rumpled sleeping bags and
popcorn seeds lining the bottom of the bowl.

The cat was out early, hunting.
We heard her little bell and I cooed
“Inky.  Inksby. Kitty. Sweetieeeee!”
evolving into screams as a
small gray mouse scurried into the tent,
little claws scratching up Becky’s back,
inside her PJ top. More screaming,
as the tent bulged like two watermelons
in a Super Valu bread bag.
Inky ran off, the two of us scrambled out of the tent
transistor radio crackling the Beach Boys’  "Surfer girl",
hot sun beating down, adhesive tape gone,
white W’s blaring on our thighs,
not a boy in sight.

© 2019 House of the Tomato