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Poem of the Month

David Roderick’s first book of poems, Blue Colonial, won the APR/Honickman Prize. He has published poetry and fiction in several journals, including the Hudson Review, the Georgia Review, Indiana Review, New England Review, Poetry, the Southern Review, Slate, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Roderick is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow and was awarded the Amy Lowell Traveling Scholarship, among other honors. Poems from this collection have won Shenandoah’s James Boatwright III Prize and the Campbell Corner Poetry Prize, sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College. Roderick is associate professor of English in the MFA program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


From The Americans

by David Roderick


A hundred-fifty through the paddied fields.
It’s not the speed that unnerves me,
it’s this feeling I get when I look through
tempered glass. Fishermen hunched on buckets.
Forests of trees with their skins peeled back.
It’s hard to believe we’ve tweaked the physics,
pared friction from sleek machines—
like this porpoise-nosed engine hushing the rush.
Even my seat on the aisle seems pleased
with its shape. It’s my privilege, I guess,
to relax, if I can shake the calm memorial:
children in the galleries, on the walls
pictures framing the smoke and wrack.
Chains of paper swans. Melted cameras.
A kimono’s pattern burned into a woman’s back.


Copyright © 2014 by David Roderick. All rights reserved.











© 2014 University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.