The Rental – a poem by Dan Campion

The Rental

The backyard was a cup formed by low hills
where fireflies would glint and swirl like snow
and snow like galaxies. Such light distills
a place, lets you forget what you don’t know:
the first inhabitants, if they had time
to watch the spectacles or even cared,
who built the house, who lived there in its prime,
what banister came loose but got repaired,
how many rafters, studs, and laths kept things
together, what fasteners it took,
how many vibrant particles or strings
made up the pale blue beadboard kitchen nook.
From seven years’ familiarity
we took our leave immersed in mystery.


Dan Campion is the author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism and co-editor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, a third edition of which was issued in 2019. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, Rolling Stone, and many other magazines. 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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