A Love Letter from Larkin
Dearest, while waiting for my cheese to melt
I think of you and listen to Bechet.
We seem to be less close. It’s all my fault.
The crocuses, your nice blue frock… I felt,
as you write, dear, we had a lovely day.
Recalling you, your marvellous legs, I melt.
I wonder is it true that ‘if the salt…?’
England fought back well by the close of play–
were you listening? That run-out! Compton’s fault.
Those swine have turned their wireless up. I’d bolt,
but where to? Maeve’s at the library,
I can’t go there. This blasted cheese won’t melt.
I’m just a clumsy oaf, a cowardly dolt
who would be helpless if you went away,
yet seem to feel less close. It’s all my fault.
Yes, I did like your red suspender belt.
I’m sorry you’re so down. What can I say?
How can I make things easier? Ah, the melt!
Do you feel we’re less close? It’s all my fault.
She surprised me
over her fragile meal, picked over,
when she said, ‘Don’t tell me if Murray won or lost
I want to watch it.’
She’s never been interested
in any sport, apart from ice skating.
But she explained
she could watch tennis on her laptop in bed,
and it didn’t matter if she drowsed
in and out,
because it just went back and forth
seemingly by chance
with one stroke