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.

I Sniff my Sleeves at Bedtime

At three years old
I press nose into clean pajama sleeves,
long before scented fabric softener
back when it was only
Oxydol or Tide hawked on daytime TV.

Mother chose Tide
(But never watched the Soaps)
I sniff inside cotton cuffs,
tidy tightness,
pull the left sleeve open

sniff, sniff until it warms
and loses the scent.
I tug on the right,
inhale the smell of fresh cool cotton
long before synthetics

homespun bouquet of
cotton comfort,
pink sleeves, ribbed cuffs,
natural nurture,

soother for sleep.
No thumbs, no sucking,
just the press of my nose
into pajama cuffs
stretched and worn.


© 2019 House of the Tomato