Literature 5-30-2006

What Light: This Week’s Poem: Todd Pederson

Todd Pederson is the ninth poet chosen in this once-a-week yearlong survey of Minnesota’s poets and their work. The series is sponsored by Magers & Quinn Booksellers.

Todd Pederson

Midnight at an All-Night Diner Beside the Sea


or just the passage down a hardscrabble blacktop

road that needles south toward El Sauzal.


or just a line of static from the AM dial; pointless

talk in a gravel lot; one last spin for grunge and disco.


or just a greasy spoon, one stone’s throw from

the edge; ten mousy vinyl booths which seldom fill.


or just the need to pause and rest your eyes as Elvis

simmers chronic heartbreak from a grainy 45.


or just a piece of foil to snuff your smoke; cool water

brought without condition or complaint.


or just coffee with legs and a dot of cream, clean

forks, homemade lemon pie.


or just the sexy neon glow of yellow curd, bright

enough to read a Bible by.

Todd Pederson is a 2005 graduate of the Master of Business Communication program at St. Thomas University, and holds an undergraduate degree in microbiology from the University of Minnesota. He works as a technical writer for a biomedical corporation in Chaska and resides in Eden Prairie with his wife and two children, whom he thanks for their patience and inspiration. Recent works appear in Summit Avenue Review. This is his first online publication.