(which was as far as anyone went, in the drugs line,
Rough Gallic gaspers, and with them,
the cords, the fishermen’s sweaters,
one beret (Steve) and the manuscripts,
left on the kitchen table,
and bulging from jacket pockets,
with copies of Tribune and the Labour press.
After the freshers and the girls went back
to a formal meal in Hall,
with the candles guttering in the flat
and twilight spreading in Cathedral Road,
Joey would walk, musing on moons and night,
and the Gauloise tang would fume,
more sweetly now, in evening air.
None of them smokes now, hasn’t for years.
Few poems surfaced either. But at that time
they would ferry groceries, run errands,
when the young caretaker’s wife was dying.
He told his grandchildren of them,
even in the century to come,
told of those strange boys,
in the flats in nineteen-sixty-two,
weird in a way, but kind.
Copyright © Robert Nisbet 2016
Robert Nisbet has poems recently in The North, Prole and The Frogmore Papers and in the USA in San Pedro River Review, Muddy River Review and elsewhere. He has one pamphlet, Merlin’s Lane (Prolebooks, 2011).