“My Dad Loves the Smell of Asphalt” by Lisa Stice

Lisa Stice


He’d work in the summer with steam
rising from new roads, climbing up 
and down from loaders and scrapers,
fixing whatever needed fixing then
he’d come home to us smelling of
oil with his arms dirty, clean up to his
t-shirt sleeves, and he’d wash with
green Lava soap in the utility sink,
gray water swirling down the drain—
his nightly ritual before dinner and
TV and sometimes he’d fall asleep
on the couch, his snores so loud we’d
have to nudge him to be able to hear
the sitcom, and he always went to bed
far earlier than us anyway because he
would be gone again before we woke.

Prompt: “From The Daily Poet by Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano (Two Sylvias Press, 2013): April 13—‘In honor of Seamus Heaney’s birthday … write a poem about your native land … focus on details about … what your parents and/or grandparents did for a living.’”

from Rattle #81, Fall 2023
Tribute to Prompt Poems


Lisa Stice: “There are 365 prompts in The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice by Kelli Russell Agodon and Martha Silano (Two Sylvias Press, 2013), and I have actually revisited the book several times, and so written two or three different poems per prompt. It’s a lot of fun!” (web)

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