Word of Honour

Nothing I say is true. Your eyes are not
Like mist upon the moor. You're never late.
Your mind is not a box of jewels. The spate
Of rivers has no bearing. You aren't hot
As coins in a child's hand, a shot
Of something strong, the ribbons at a fête.
There are no fireworks. Things aren't so great.
Our fragile love is shrinking to the dot
On old-time turned-off TV sets. I wish
You'd change, be worthy of me. I regret
That you can't dance or sing. It's all untrue:
One in a million, tiny silver fish,
Caged bird, my secret forest. You don't set
Me skywards on champagne. I don't love you.

© Peter Howard

first published in Orbis 1996