Wednesday, 26 July 2017

A poem by Robert Nisbet

John at Twelve

He’d gaze for hours at the universe,
the stars, the planets, in his almanac,
loving the pallor, the serenity.

He wouldn’t be bothered with piano lessons,
or Sunday School, that stuff, but liked it
with Jinks and Dan and Murphy,
walking the woods, sitting in dens,
threading conkers, watching the world.

But they’d walk past the tennis courts
and Jinks and Murph were talking now,
of the girls, the legs. He knew
there was an urgency near to arrival

but his girl was a Russian gymnast,
a colour photo in his World Sports magazine,
crystalline in her simplicity.

First published in Constellations (USA), Fall/Winter 2015

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet whose work has appeared widely in Britain and the USA. He was shortlisted for the Wordsworth Trust Prize in 2017.

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