The father looked astute, rotund and genial,
larded his thoughts with sturdy sentiment.
The Mum cooked roasts and tarts and crumbles.
The daughters, two, late teens,
were still the pretty side of plump.
When the skinny lodger came, they beamed
their amiability. Dad took him
to his club for snooker, wheezed softly,
lining up the colours in bifocal sights.
Never a drunk, he pondered local things
contentedly. Then home for supper.
Lodger went out with each of the girls
a couple of times, back row of the pictures,
giggling and Maltesers, and then home for supper.
He’d sometimes help Mum with her horoscopes,
using his schoolboy Latin on the names.
And then the NatWest moved him on,
to forty years of being dutiful.
He sometimes missed the family of fatties
who had fed him, fussed him, feted him,
had taken on trust his right to be
an unapologetic self.
Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet whose work has appeared in the USA in San Pedro River Review, Main Street Rag, Third Wednesday, Burningword Literary Journal and many others, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.