Dan Campion



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.

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