JULIETTE (tennis)

She was always late for her lesson –
her boss at the diner asked for an extra shift,
or she had to shop for a sick friend,
but her smile and lightness
easily dismissed any resentment he had,
easy, too, to rearrange his tennis schedule.
She was studying English here in Brooklyn,
an exchange student from Paris,
who when she missed a backhand,
smiled even wider and said, “Mais, Non!”
She moved with balletic grace,
floating above the lines.
“I must go back to the Sorbonne,”
she suddenly announced one session.
“I hope to back to the practice, no?”
making the tennis court seem
far heavier the next weekend.
He would wait for her however long,
patiently pounding forehands for his love.