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.

Discovering Holy Water at Age Nine

Robin Chapman offered suggestions on structure and title on this poem that WAS “Morning Blues”. I added some new images this morning. What do you think?

Discovering Holy Water at Age Nine 

One dry summer in South Dakota 
visiting my Unitarian grandparents 
I made friends with Sheila the girl next door. 
In her house was a statue of Jesus 
hanging on a cross next to a shelf that held 
a narrow bottle with a cork stopper. 
Holy water, my friend said. 

That night a prairie thunderstorm 
rattled the windows like an angry ghost, 
driven by wind inhaling the soil, 
grains of dust encased a million raindrops. 
A burst of light and a crack of thunder 
woke the house at midnight. 
In the dark Sheila’s mother shook that bottle 

like a priest, holy-watering the walls 
bedrooms, floors, kitchen and kids 
as the storm grumbled east 
tapering in the distance. 
Morning dawned in glory blue, 
the beds walls, and floors were streaked cerulean, 
laundry bluing had saved them all. 

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