Beth Ann Fennelly

(1971 / United States / New Jersey)

We Are The Renters - Poem by Beth Ann Fennelly

You need no other name for us than that.
The good folk of Old Taylor Road
know who you mean. We are
the renters, hoarders of bloated boxes,
foam peanuts. When the Welcome Wagon
of local dogs visits our garbage,
we're not sure which houses to yell at. So
what if we leave the cans there a bit too long.
We have white walls, a beige futon, orange
U-Haul on retainer, checks with low numbers.
Scheming to get our security deposit back, nail holes
are spackled with toothpaste. Ooops, our modifiers
dangle. Our uncoiled hoses dangle, but the weeds
in our gutters do not, they grow tall,
they are Renters' Weeds, they are unafraid.
An old black one-speed leans against the carport.
So what. Maybe we were thinking about riding
past these houses with posters for Republican governors.
We have posters too: Garage Sale. 'Can I hel—'
'No, just looking.' We are just looked at, we renters.
Are we coming soon to your neighborhood?
We're the ones without green thumbs,
with too many references, the ones
whose invitation to the block party
must have gotten lost in the mail. If we're still here
come winter, tell the postman not to bother
searching our nameless mailbox for his Christmas check.


Comments about We Are The Renters by Beth Ann Fennelly

  • Susan Williams (8/31/2016 4:12:00 PM)


    Utterly fresh and refreshing and clever piece of writing! ! ! ! Enjoyed the heck out of its reality and humor and sauciness! ! ! (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (8/31/2016 12:05:00 PM)


    Hard realities of life elaborated in a touching way. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Betania's Song (8/31/2016 10:15:00 AM)


    Such a sad reality check. Brilliant write of a poem. Thank you for sharing with all of us. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (8/31/2016 3:51:00 AM)


    So many problems get cluttered in urban lives and it becomes difficult to wriggle out of it. Thanks for sharing, Beth Ann. I quote:
    tell the postman not to bother
    searching our nameless mailbox for his Christmas check.
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (8/31/2016 1:21:00 AM)


    Local dogs visits our garbage! ! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

    Mohammed Asim Nehal Mohammed Asim Nehal (8/31/2016 1:40:00 AM)

    Very true

Read all 6 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Saturday, June 28, 2014



[Report Error]