Dusting, By Daniel Hall

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)