Tony Camarano/Associated Press
The Andrews Sisters (Laverne, Maxene and Patty), New York, 1945
by Robert Nisbet
‘Neath the old apple tree
You whispered to me,
When it blossomed again, you’d be mine
(Andrews Sisters recording, 1941)
That music, those sisters, they’re
gramophones and history,
they’re sentimental farmsteads
and the girl next ranch,
a round imagining away
from lust and war and loneliness.
Such chirpy songs, such friendly songs
they must have been (Hey, babe),
and these were horny matelots
and airmen who led with their urges.
Yes, many girls got laid, played Eve,
below the time’s apple trees.
Taken advantage of, maybe,
but by boys who could be dead within the year.
Robert Nisbet is a Welsh poet whose work has been published in roughly equal measures in Britain and the USA, in the latter case quite regularly in San Pedro River Review, Red River Review and Panoply, which made him one of its Editor’s Choice Featured Poets in their Fall 2017 issue.