When Lisette came to live here as au pair
our neighbour’s wife was furious we’d dare
import a beauty (and Lisette’s nineteen).
Her husband managed soon to tear our screen,
insisted he would fix it, brought his tools,
and talked ‘their’ language to Lisette. The fool.
Had schools, he asked her, changed since he had left?
Was nicking bikes still not considered theft?
Like me a decade older than this girl,
he as a writer has the time to whirl
around Lisette, take our kids to the lake
accompanied by her, hot dogs and cake.
When we come home at six, or eight, or nine,
she tells us how Monsieur has been so kind
to hold a ladder while she saved a cat,
or pump a tire he showed her had gone flat.
His wife, who works in Fairfield selling art,
has told us she’s considering a part
in Westport’s next production of The Shrew.
She can rehearse at home and be with Hugh,
the Labrador her husband gave her when
he had no time to train it anymore.
I hear that he’s inspired and writing more.
His newest work is foreign: Je t’adore.