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.

A Child, Maybe Your Child?


Somewhere a child, maybe your child,
is wandering the streets with a backpack
looking for a doorway to settle into
out of the wind and the chill.

Somewhere, there are two or three who
find each other under the bridge in town,
huddled together, afraid someone might attack
because of how they look, who they are.

Somewhere a teen or twenty-something
told their parents they are gender fluid
or not their gender assigned at birth,
dressing in a dress now, wearing dangly earrings.

Somewhere a child, maybe your child,
has spent hours, days, years knowing
what they needed to do, just to keep themselves alive
trusting you, as they came out,

Somewhere a child, maybe your child
is hungry, and needs a good night’s sleep.
Did you think about where they might go
the day you turned them out to the streets?

I think of my son-now-a-daughter child, safe and warm.
She tells me about her trans friends hugging their packs
for comfort, bone cold on a bench, hungering for dinner,
a real bed and unconditional love.


© 2019 House of the Tomato