Lise

Seeing the MGM lion roar,
Lise complains she’s seen this show before.

My father-in-law’s live-in caretaker,
Haitian, tout douleur,

She knows Seventh-Day Adventist lore,
The perfidy of men, how to cure

Oppressive itching. Her
Cooking doesn’t please him anymore,

But he likes her lilting French, her hair
And gentle hands, her living soapy spoor.

David Thorburn is a professor of literature at the Massachusetts Institute of technology and directs the MIT Communications Forum.
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