F Cade Swanson
Queer dad from Virginia now living and writing in the Pacific Northwest. Dad poems, sad poems, stories about life. Read more at fcadeswanson.com
- Runner-Up in Identity Challenge
Hoping to not be too weirdRunner-Up in Identity Challenge
“Bring your raincoat,” I said to Jade. My daughter was finishing up her morning routine: brushing her teeth, pulling her new braids back into a ponytail and laying her edges. The familiar smell of coconut oil meant she was almost ready to go. I heard the squeaky door on the shoe closet open and looked over. She reached past her Nikes to grab her Adidas, then remembered the field trip and pulled on her boots instead.
Just look for the blue Dodge Durango with the Guam sticker, she said. It’s a Wednesday in June. The following day marks the three year anniversary of meeting our eldest son Michael at a playground in Tacoma. Today, though, Nathan and I are driving to Ellensburg from Seattle to meet Jacob. And I’m not doing well.
- Finalist in 2023 Vocal Writing Awards - Romance Fiction
Second PubertyFinalist in 2023 Vocal Writing Awards - Romance Fiction
The night you called me, I was sitting in my car in Chicago at a light on the corner where Western and Diversey and Elston meet, a six way intersection with so many confusing directions as three roads cross. I was heading home- not to the place where you lived with me, not to the home we had made together, but to a new place a block away. I sat through two lights while we talked, and only moved after those words: “I love you.”
Gasping for air
I watch as my grandfather adjusts his massive frame in the green armchair and realize I’m all alone with him in the dark front room of their Appalachian home. We’d driven twelve hours in our maroon Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser to see them, my mother’s travel games keeping us three kids somewhat occupied along with the rotation of who got to sit in the rear jump seat that faced backwards. In later years, we’d take I-64 through West Virginia, but on this trip, we traveled across our home state of Virginia on I-81 to the mountains of Kentucky. Our first stop was the Tastee-Freeze outside of Emporia for an ice cream.