Before becoming a writer, David Colodney was a fetus and, prior to that, an embryo. David realized at an early age that he had no athletic ability whatsoever, so he turned his attention to writing about sports instead of playing them, covering everything from high school flag football to major league baseball for The Tampa Tribune and The Miami Herald. David holds an MA from Nova Southeastern University and an MFA from Converse College, where he served as poetry editor of the South 85 literary magazine. He was recently nominated for Best New Poets and was a finalist for the 2017 DISQUIET International Prize for Poetry. His work has appeared or will appear in St. Petersburg Review, South Carolina Review, California Quarterly, Shot Glass Journal, and Gyroscope Review, among others. David lives in Boynton Beach, Florida with his wife, three sons, and golden retriever.
2017 Fall Poetry Winner “Deployed” by David Colodney
Your bedroom clock scatters us in minutes.
You rattle off random tasks chores
before departure: physicals basic
training storage lease-breaking.
You already speak staccato
like your drill sergeant, hollow
broken syllables. Standing at attention
we survey these blank walls
pretending: diminished breaths
an open window. A lonely cloud burst
blurs your orders clutched in spastic hands
tearstains drain white paper gray.
I see through the folded print an x-ray.
If I touch that letter, it means you’re leaving,
so I let angular words dangle.
In this minute, there’s no changing you.
In this room, we live a moment
we don’t understand: your bedroom clock
spins time faster as you ship out to serve
Young soldier, if your country loomed as large as your heart
beating under camouflage last name embroidered,
flag emblazoned if only your country
In this minute, I don’t know: salute you
or hug you so tight
you never go.