Author Archives: Alex C. Renwick

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

Little Red Roofs

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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