Konstantin Simonov

Simonov through English Eyes

"You get from time to time a man.."

You get from time to time a man
Who's every woman's silent friend -
A friend without ulterior aim,
A friend on whom she can depend.
He's like the lifebelt on the deck
Which hangs and waits, for years unheeded,
Until at last it saves a life,
That final moment when it's needed.

Your careless hands must never hang
Me somewhere handy to be found.
I'm not a lifebelt. I'm a stone.
Hold fast to me and you'll be drowned...

1946