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.

Two new poems for Becoming Trans-Parent

Here are those two missing poems-- for the book: (Both fresh writes.)

This one goes right after "Dad Speaks". I emailed Drew for his thoughts on Anna's transition--I worked in his words and ideas into this poem.  I expanded the "shared experiences" comment into their childhood details. Hope it isn't preachy but rather a window into the two of them. The questions at the end are Drew's.

Younger Brother Speaks

I didn’t see it coming;
she caught me completely by surprise.
A lot of things changed but nothing has changed --
she's still my sibling.

We shared the same love of LEGOS, Micros Machine towns,
played street hockey on roller blades,
went on the same family road trips, inching our hands
over the imaginary middle line of the back seat.

We shared the famous Cheerios fight in the station wagon
as Dad drove the treacherous gravel road of Independence Pass.
We hunted bugs and fossils, skipped rocks across a lake,
hiked trails in the woods, played Huck Finn on a river,

found a gigantic toad that scared our mother
when we dropped it in her hand.
My sister said this is who she was all along.
No one else is the expert on who she is other than herself.   

Even in a dress, with longer hair, a higher voice,
she's still the same, our shared experiences still happened.
We're still siblings. Does gender really matter?
Does it have any effect on how we live our lives? 

 and this one--
I had a tough day recently at a family reunion--too many of other peoples' grand kids running around and I was feeling the losses

Some Days

This hot day our daughter braids her long hair
away from her face, tucking it close around the crown of her head.

For a moment I see in her the son I once knew:
he broad nose, firm brow,  

the well-known forehead freckle
that is
now almost always covered with curls.
Some days my heart aches for all of it: 

The years on the couch,
her struggle to transition,
the hormones, electrolysis,
concern for her safety,
the employer yet to hire her,
the children they won't have
dear memories of a boy I raised.





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