Volte Face


Volte Face


He fell for black-eyed Peggy Pasternak

One Sunday, when she smiled at him across

The aisle, behind his father’s prayer-bent back.

How to approach her, he was at a loss,

For she was tethered close to Mama’s side;

So, knowing not a number he could call,

He wrote to her. In, out, in went the tide

With no reply, till time’s chelonian crawl


Finally brought a letter to his plate.

He flipped it over, saw it was unsealed:

Someone had got there first! ‘I’m sorry, Nate,’

His mom said, ‘but I thought….’ With blood congealed,

He wrote to call it off; but, oh, the pain

Of never looking Peggy’s way again!


[Chelonian means tortoise-like.]



Peter Austin


Peter Austin has been published in Ariel Chart once before, and his poetry has also appeared in The Atlanta Review, Blue Unicorn, The Raintown Review, The Barefoot Muse, Able Muse, The Hypertexts and Fourteen by Fourteen, as well as in journals/magazines in Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Israel. He is a retired Professor of English.




  1. this work is lovely and really speaks to me.

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