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.


Annette, this is an older poem… tightened it up… revised… rearranged… thinking of submitting to Ariel… let me know what you think…


My son and I play Owl, 
a game I learn from a Nordic woman
with solar eyes charged          with the Northern Lights.

He leans down to me.             With splayed
fingers, I hold his heavy head between my palms.
I aim my forehead into his.

His hair's too long. He hasn't 
shaved. His ginger whiskers look                   like molt.
"Close your eyes," I say. I open mine as wide

as caverns, pressing closer, gaining                precious fractions
until our faces are nearly conjoined,              pupil to pupil,
mysterious centers. I wish I could push

through his skull                     to know what he's thinking,
what he’s doing, if he's using. I can remember a time when
all I saw was green.

"Open," I say,             hopeful.
He opens his eyes into my huge orbs, his large lever
hands resting on my shoulders.

He laughs, pleased by the attention.
The object of the game is                   to startle,
tubular-eyed proximity,          gathering light,           

information, courage,             shining it back.  
"Now you," he says,               unfurling his scroll of a forehead 
in my direction.

© 2019 House of the Tomato