Issue > Poetry
David Roderick

David Roderick

David Roderick is the author of two books of poems, Blue Colonial and The Americans. From 2017-2019 he wrote the "State Lines" poetry column for The San Francisco Chronicle. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow and Amy Lowell Scholar, Roderick lives in Berkeley, California and co-directs Left Margin LIT, a creative writing center and work space serving writers in the East Bay.

Austere and Lonely

My father sometimes wore a look
on his face to blend with the shadows of the house.

He dialed down the heat,
flicked off the daytime lights.

Sort of funny when you think about it,
his mood saving us money.

He blasted the neighbor in ping pong.
He mashed with his wide thumb

the bathroom spider.
I can see now that his anger was probably fear,

and that the fear was learned from his father
and so on, a whole house

conspiring against a man—
a blocked drain and a bannister loose,

a driveway outside iced slick
and black as a hearse.

Terminal C

I fear flying almost
as much as my feelings,
so when Cece's free hand
brushes my own, I hold on,
dreading the security
checkpoint and long lines,
and after saying to her
"I like holding your hand,"
to which she responds, "Why?"
after saying, "Because it makes me
feel happy, and proud,
and shows me I'm not alone,"
she points to the patterned
floor up ahead and says,
"Hey Dad, look at those dots."


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