Beautiful, visitors used to say
absentmindedly, glimpsing the figurine
(courtesan, bronze) ensconced in the fine
bay window. And it was, in a way
that the irises swaying outside
would never be, multitudes driven
unresisting from season to season,
year after year. When the old man died,
his favorite weathered the neglect
indifferently. The pose she held
had taken a lifetime to perfect,
would take a life, at last, to comprehend.
Dust fell, and her had was filled,
awaiting the touch of a human hand.
From "The Yale Younger Poets Anthology," edited by George Bradley (Yale University Press: 306 pp., $16 paper)