Under his ceiling

Here is another poem of Sophie Hannah's, in which she makes a surprisingly beautiful case for the supporting role in marriage (or in relationships at the very least). I can't format this poem properly with the correct indents, but hopefully it still works.


Steven's Side

I am supporting Steven
as if I were a beam
under his ceiling, even
though he is not a team.
Under his ceiling even
a nightmare is a dream.

Steven and I have entered.
Some people have implied
I would be too self-centred
to cheer for Steven’s side,
I would be too self-centred
to fail if Steven tried.

I am supporting Steven
as if I were a rail
behind his curtain, even
though he is bound to fail.
Behind his curtain even
a white net is a veil.

Steven is no performer.
He has no gift for sport.
I make no cool crowd warmer
by staging my support.
I make no cool crowd warmer,
adorn no tennis court

but I am supporting Steven
as if I were a pin
above his hemline, even
though he will never win.
Above his hemline even
a jacket is a skin.

I am supporting Steven.
I am at Steven’s feet.
I put him first and even
give him a thing to beat.
I put him first and even
then he will not compete.

Sophie Hannah