“Annie” by Robert Nisbet

It seemed in winter that farm girl Annie
was lying fallow. In school she was a quiet
nobody-much, content enough maybe,
but in spring and summer, woof.

“Annie’s in bloom again”, we’d think,
and she’d be barnstorming. She’d flirt,
she’d backchat, sing and yodel in the gym,
whistle in the physics lab. We laughed,
she laughed, and when Annie laughed,
it was a thing of gales and stitches.

Later, I went out with Annie, one November.
She was a gentle girl, good company.
Chastely, we kissed. G’night. G’night.

But Hicksy once, in August, went with Annie
on a day trip to Tenby. Came back teetering.
She’d nearly had his trousers off him on the bus,
he told me. (But just allow a little there
for Hicksy’s storytelling instincts).

But then when I’d meet her, in later years,
in the agricultural shows and markets,
winter and summer, our Annie seemed
to have somehow evened out. She’d be
selling country produce, honey, jams,
her selling line a pretty effervescence,
pattering, chattering, shooting the breeze.

Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet who has been published widely in Britain and the USA, where he has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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