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.

Alice by Royal Doulton

Remembering my mother today… the only heirloom of hers I really want… my dad still wants it around him…

The excuse as a gift.
She carried it across a Continent.
There is bone ash in bone china,
giving her a lustre, suffusing
rose across her cheeks,
blueness in her dress.
I am the heirloom, and the heirloom
will come to me.
See me reading a book.
"'The time has come,' the walrus said.
To talk of many things.'"
Replica of myself.
Replica of a replica of myself.
She took joy in figures
that reminded her of people she loved.
The person might live right in front of her.
(We all did.)
Yet she would co-relate the figure,
glazed in a curio cabinet of glass shelves and mirrors,
she smoothed with her thumb,
texture of words.
Her before the tumble.
Me before the tumble.
We all tumble down.
The firstness did something to her face,
relaxed and wondering.
We lived between ourselves
and the figures,
the space she created for us beside the collectible.
I am the heirloom, and the heirloom
will come to me.

© 2019 House of the Tomato