Dear Suburb

By David Roderick David Roderick
I’m not interested in sadness,
just a yard as elder earth,
a library of sunflowers
battered by the night’s rain.
When sliced wide, halved at dawn,
I can see how you exist,
O satellite town, your bright possibility
born again in drywall
and the diary with the trick lock.
Hardly held, for years I slept
with my window wide open,
wanting screen-cut threads of rain.
Blind suburb, dear untruth,
you who already know what I mean
when I praise every spared copse,
you were my battery, my sad clue,
but after I mowed the lawn
and watched robins chesting
for seeds I couldn’t resist
what hung in the toolshed,
where, with a pair of garden shears
I cut all the hair from my arms. That need,
that scared need to whiten
or clean a surface: plywood or lawn,
and the spywall behind which I stood,
stock-still, and sinned against
the fly’s flyness. Though you live
inside me, though you laid eggs
in the moisture at the corners
of my eyes, I still dream about
your sinking empire twenty feet above
sea level, and the many things
you never see: beautiful bleached
gas can, tomato posts bent into art,
how half of a butterfly, cut crosswise,
still looks like a butterfly, etc.

Source: Poetry (December 2009).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the December 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

December 2009
 David  Roderick

Biography

David Roderick is the author of Blue Colonial (American Poetry Review/Copper Canyon Press, 2006). He lives and teaches in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Money & Economics, Life Choices

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.