Our mothers’ cross-stitch works rest crisp and clean
and neatly folded in a chest of drawers.
We’re saving them. Awhile since they’ve been seen,
they’re clear to us, those themes a child adores—
antique clocks, dancing vegetables and fruits—
or should adore, though children all do not.
We’re saving them for when occasion suits
their undeniable appeal. We’ve got
time yet to learn how to appreciate
fine needlework. We’re saving it. The chest
right now is best: cool, dark, a steady state
for safekeeping. Close work deserves a rest.
The thread stays strong. The colors do not fade.
They’re fresh as on the day when they were made.
Dan Campion is the author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism and coeditor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, a third edition of which was issued in 2019. His poems have appeared previously in the Innisfree Poetry Journal and in many anthologies and magazines, including Light, Poetry, and Rolling Stone. A selection of his poems titled The Mirror Test will be published by MadHat Press in February 2022. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.