Dusting

A circle widens beneath my cloth, the years
Of dust rubbed from the wavy windowpanes.
Bits of planets, burst stars have sifted down,
Dust from remote globes of the universe
Drops in our closets, piles in corners softly,
Swirls in sunrays toward boxes we’ll unpack,
Around the clocks and mirrors under sheets;
The clouds I shake from carpets give it back,

The children paste paper stars upon the door.
With wet footprints disappearing in the hall,
Old wallpaper designs disclosing faces,
The faucet’s voice, the floorboard’s startled cry
Under my heel, what ghost is it accounts
For breath in the rooms, pale tears coursing
The windowpanes, what ghosts? I count even
the doorknob in my hand among the living.

- Gjertrud Schnackenberg