Autobiography · Poems

Her Wedding Day

Alone she shops for her rented dress
Froths of giggling girls drift past
Mothers and daughters
Daughters and friends
‘Jenny, you look gorgeous!’
Rick’ll love that!’

She stands on a box in the too-long gown
The best she can afford
Wondering if it’s okay
No girlfriend to ask
In the strange northern town
No doting mother
To praise and admire
Just a shop assistant
Busy with the loved girls.

On her wedding day
She wakes alone
She bathes alone
She dresses alone
Does her hair as usual
With the old wooden brush
Dabs on the scent her father bought her
Before he died.

As she leaves the house
Boys in the street mock, sing-song
‘Here comes the bride! Here comes the bride!’

She asks the driver to wait
By the park.
Under the oak, a couple
Love each other with their eyes
He stroking her hair.

Finally, the church
Blood red Norman stone
Hats and tails, mumbles and titters
Organ fluting and bellowing
Him, standing rigid in his work suit
His back to her
His back to her
His back to her
Until she reaches the altar
And is acknowledged
With a nod.

And so begins
Her marriage,
The continued unravelling
Of herself.




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