Well, Pete’s the man. He is fifteen and healthy,
it is 1960 and the school is starting pen pals.
A slight imbalance, numbers, boys to girls,
and so he draws Lisette. A gentle rounded lettering.
Their friendship plods and stumbles. Never
has he written such banality. But soon they will visit.
He is struggling this week not to think too much
of the photos in the barber’s, of Brigitte Bardot.
Lisette’s a tomboy, a pretty scurrying girl,
short curly hair, light throaty speech.
And he esteems her. They talk, in halting,
smiling English. She’s a nice girl. Person.
Over the years, our Pete will meet, court, marry,
but slipping off into the quietness near sleep,
each time challenging him, teasing him even,
will be the shade, his loved Lisette.
If you have any comments on this poem, Robert Nisbet would
be pleased to hear from you.