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.

The Roarers

Hi Tori--this poem came out of a free write a couple weeks ago. I edited it the past 2 days. I've had the "Dear Abby" part in and then taken it out..don't know if it fits..but it's true. Does it add anything?  The point being the embarrassment  of a 13 yr old me, my last resort being to write Dear Abby.

It was worse in summer, everyone’s windows open.
It started  at dinner with mom and dad picking at each other
like fingering chicken off the bone.

He left his fly rods leaning in a corner of the living room again.
She didn’t want to go boating with him; a storm might come up,

escalating to how worried she was (she was always worried)
that he could have died on that unforgiving Lake Superior

in a small boat with two buddies, heading up the Brule
for the steelhead run last March .

She starts crying at the point about being left alone at home
with two kids and two hunting dogs, all needing to be fed.

She railed about putting on her WAC trench coat, belt cinched at the waist,
lips pursed, shovel in hand traipsing across the back yard

on frozen corn snow to the dog pens, shoveling shit into a bucket,
saying shit under her breath.

At thirteen years old, I called the picking and yelling, Roarers;
as a last hope it would stop, I wrote Dear Abby a letter about it.  

The Roarers continued on hot summer nights,
my brother and I choking down chicken, peas, and potatoes,
dining room windows open, the neighbors all ears.


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