Autobiography · Poems

Her Wedding Day

Alone, she shops for her rented dress
Among froths of giggling girls
Sisters and friends
Mothers and daughters
‘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 friend 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! Three feet wide!’

Early, she asks the driver to wait
By the park.
A couple love, lightly,
In the soft shade
She on his lap, laughing.

Finally, the church
Blood red Norman stone
Organ fluting
Incense curling
Flowers wilting
She treads on the dead
To reach him
Rigid in his sharp suit
His back to her
  His back to her
    His back to her
      Until she stands at the altar
        And is acknowledged
          With a nod.




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