Little Red Roofs

Little Red Roofs

What has brought on
my predilection for houses
with little red roofs?

I never lived in one
—not to my knowledge—
but out in the world
continually reach for even
hokey nicknacks of the image:
vintage plaster souvenirs from
                    Amsterdam or Aruba,
country carvings of Amish barns
and tiny bisque pagodas
                    marked Occupied Japan.

Perhaps it’s this:
I inherited a hooked rug
from my grandmother
depicting a rural structure
all roof and snow, red and white,
a Quebecois-style thing
of a sort now much coveted
in Bank Street antique shops
that has seen much abuse
at my hands, years since
I took it after her death,
left behind after other
more predatory relatives
absconded with genuine heirlooms
                    —etched crystal bowls,
                    gilt demitasse cups—
handed down from generations prior
with a reverence borne by immigrants
keenly aware of how much
they’d left behind.

My grandmother,
a stalwart, sensible, imperfect woman
I much admire in retrospect
for her fire-engine hair and
Scandinavian skepticism,
was more mid-century modern
in her personal tastes.

No; what I took
from Granma’s house was
her teak Danish folding chairs,
her vintage electric typewriter,
her SF paperback collection
and a little Quebecois-style
                    hooked rug thing
of a sort now much coveted
in Bank Street antique shops.


Between Two Places by Deanne Fitzpatrick


About Alex C. Renwick

Alex C. Renwick is a Canadian writer born in Los Angeles, raised in Austin, living in Ottawa. Her poetry & short fiction has been shortlisted for the Endeavour, Rhysling, and Rachel Wetzsteon Chapbook Awards. She currently lives in a crumbling urban castle advocating House Culture and feeding five fantailed koi she has been warned not to name. Info at

About Deanne Fitzpatrick

Deanne Fitzpatrick creates one-of-a-kind hooked rugs at her studio in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and The Rooms in Newfoundland. She has written four books on rug hooking and is currently working on her fifth. You can see more of her work on her website.

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