The Campbell’s Tomato Soup Tragedy


Mother immortalized Campbell’s soup

long before Warhol wore his first knickers –

it was already in her genes.

Not that she’s a vengeful woman

but it seems she takes a bite of life and

heads straight for the pit.

She’s resurrected that battered tale

so many times now, it hardly revives.

When she’s peeved at us,

or at work, or at the price of groceries,

she’ll point her accusations at me and shriek,

“You look like your father!”

I have to turn away and laugh.


My father was a rowdy and a rogue

before he realized he was a father –

he could have been a farmer poet.

The Campbell’s Tomato Soup Tragedy

began long ago when my father was dispatched

to purchase our dinner, the soup.

When he returned, hours late and soup-less,

high on cheap alcohol and mad at playing cards,

my mother bit that acrid seed

tenaciously, never letting go.

Some things are difficult to swallow

but I’ve never seen any wrong

that couldn’t be forgiven with tenderness.


Tragedies always lie in pools of stagnant love.


I’m a wasteful wanton womanchild,

a willful troublemaker –

yet still a lizard skinned surviro.

Debris remains of loves lost and unrequited,

pain is harbored in this port,

haunting hurts linger that should be forgotten.

When I look in the mirror to muse of

my father, through my own silvered reflection,

I see a Campbell’s Tomato Soup can,

the shrill voice nagging is now my own,

my mother’s face transposed above mine.

I look like my father, huh?

I have to turn away and laugh.


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