Leave-takings – Robert Nisbet

A farewell from a French assistante, he
intoning gentle au revoir, but they,
girls of just sixteen, seventeen, knew well
behind the phrase lay whole eternities
of somewhere else. That night in early June,
cathedral close, the bells for evensong
rang sombre news, his au revoir. Farewell.

The second leave was in a London snow.
The Irishman, the folk singer, his songs
composed of drifts and deeps, dark crumpled hair,
a world of pub and gig expectancy,
telling her now in Hyde Park’s morning light
that he’d go back to County Donegal.

Quotidian followed, but the thought would ache,
sublimities once craved for, cherished well,
betrayed by morning light and evening bell.

robert nisbetRobert Nisbet lives in the UK, in rural Wales, about as far as you can get from London, travelling West. His poems have been published widely in Britain and the USA, including regular appearances in San Pedro River Review, Panoply and Red River Review.