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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press


By: David Colodney

And next week I’ll ask you the same question again

even though you told me last week not to always ask

when you’d be home because you just don’t know.

What I said was we wanted to know if you’d be here

for dinner but what I wanted to say was this is my house,

show some damn respect. I didn’t want to sound

like my own father, voice roughened by the flora

of cigarette butts blooming in his chalice ashtray,

but I was now him, my wine glass

taking the place of his pack of Winston 100s,

having this same talk with a similarly cocky

teenage son oozing the cologne

of braggadocio and bravado.

When you live under my roof, you live by my rules

in my father’s day was the gray cliché of parenting

a teenage son, nearly a man in so many ways yet not so

in many others. My father’s rules wouldn’t work today,

in this brittle era of eggshell words and participation trophies,

so I attempt to tilt my son’s fulcrum toward adulthood

by talking in tempered terms instead, knowing the hourglass

offers only so many more next weeks to ask

if he’s coming home for dinner,

leery that the wrong words can be as fragile

as shards shattering as the door slams closed.


David Colodney is the author of the chapbook, Mimeograph (Finishing Line Press, 2020). A two-time Pushcart nominee, his poems have appeared in South Carolina Review, Panoply, Gyroscope Review, Cathexis Northwest Press, and The Chaffin Journal, among others. David holds an MFA from Converse College, and lives in Boynton Beach, Florida, with his wife, three sons, and golden retriever.


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