When she trembled it wasn’t one string
but the whole instrument.
Though she deserved my adoration
I lacked the will to see it through.
For her part, she approved of me,
but approval isn’t love.
We were like water-boatmen
on a pond, cool and adrift.
Eternity was the god
who allowed us little moments.
Over time I forgot her face
and yet these things come back:
a low white moon, a silent bar,
the cry of seals along the shore.
This poem appears in Blake Morrison’s new novel “The Executor” (Chatto & Windus)
This article appears in the 10 May 2018 issue of the New Statesman, Israel vs Iran