What a nice looking young lady coming up the street
Is his reaction as he sees out the window by his desk
A girl make her way across his view, two stories down.

Am I being patronizing, he wonders, to label her so? Or
Condescending, to think of her in such old-fashioned terms?
Yet she does resemble persons in dresses between classes

On a college quad in the ’50s. At his computer,
He stops keyboarding a chatty e-mail letter
To a chum from those old days

Who has an especially appreciative eye
For female beauty. The girl is almost out of sight
But pleasure received from her moments is not over:

Though his aging eyes are unable to see the details of her face
He has witnessed enough to think of college times
And now attempts to recall which girl it was he liked the best,

Almost immediately deciding it was probably Mary Bradshaw.
(To be with Mary, he had at the last minute lied to – was it Alma Pierce? –
Over the phone, saying he would not be able to make it – he had a cold;

Actually, being with Mary at the time, he had instead wanted to continue
Staying with her fairly Irish charm, not minding hurting someone else.
And so Mary and he went out for burgers and came back to his apartment

Where, keeping their clothes on, they rolled around together on the bed.
Now, tucking away into his private mind the street apparition and the memory
She gifted him with, he types to his friend about totally different things.

Jonathan Bracker’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Northwest, Writer’s Digest, and other periodicals and anthologies. Bracker is the editor of Bright Cages: The Selected Poems Of Christopher Morley, co-author with Mark Wallach of Christopher Morley, and editor of A Little Patch Of Shepherd’s-Thyme: Prose Passages Of Thomas Hardy Arranged As Verse.