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.

Mail Call

Tori--I've had this one percolating for a long time. I was stuck so today I just sat down and wrote it. Is it too simple? or maybe simple is good? It's how it was.


Everyone lived for letters,
the soldiers in Vietnam,
the families back home.

It took four days for a letter
to travel from Vietnam to Wisconsin
if everything went smoothly.

Soldiers had times to write and times to fight.
Some letters arrived regularly,
some had long gaps of time in between.

My parents rushed to the mailbox daily,
disappointed if there was no letter.
Peter said, The only thing to look forward to in war was Mail Call.

The postage from Vietnam was Free, a measly perk of war.
When Wally our family mailman
saw APO, San Francisco, on the return address,

Free in the top right corner
and Peter’s large scrawl across an envelope,
he rang the doorbell, a gesture of such kindness.

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