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.

Book Club

Something totally different... not sure I juggle the characters aptly... Mother Sage came to me in the nether-tween time between sleep and waking... I think inspired by your trans-parenting poems... she is the Mother of Bearing Witness.... let me know what you think.

Book Club

Mother Sage listened to her sister friend, light dimmed in the hurricane
lamp, bookshelves wide and empty, darkly stained. If he wasn't home
by six I knew I'd be beaten. Raped. I dreaded the weeks he got paid.

Her sister friend sat opposite, arranging fork and knife at the table
of the restaurant. Through a checkerboard window, late sun refracted
in tiny squares. Her sister friend was an engineer of her own happiness.

She wore long, beaded necklaces, open-toed shoes. Mother Sage met
her sister friend's son in the parking lot, the son she'd tucked
under an arm like a football, worried he'd be next. She'd left with

nothing traceable, two dollars in her pocket, enough to share
a bowl of soup, heel of bread. Her sister friend liked the sound
of cream of chicken, stuffed avocado. She confessed she hadn't read

the book this month, about addiction. I know about addiction, she said.
Mother Sage carried a spoon to her lips. He became another person, 
something tragic
. Mother Sage admired her sister friend's hair,

a woman's capacity for forgiveness, her hair streaked with blonde
and strawberry, allowed to curl around her face in soft waves. A shaft
of errant light fell across her eyes. Her sister friend was not deterred

by geometry, probability, the careful way she moved her lips, told her story,
eyes round, blue-gold agates, knowing sorrow, knowing joy, shrugging on
the responsibility of being the lesson for her sister friends here till Sunday.

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