Garry Stanton

Rookie (March 16,1964 / Edinburgh, Scotland)

Get me to the church on time


All into church on time,
sliding
into pews, awaiting
the main event.
Outside, frost grips grass,
grimly, as a pale January sun begins to
descend.

No summer wedding, then.

There are smiles, tears, solemnity.
We pour into the chill air, between
tall, varnished oak.

This is their wedding date,
and she floats in, an early bride,
leaving gracefully a gleaming Morgan.
Candles burn, some proud, others
sad, tiny devotions.

Everyone loves a wedding.

And there he is, late as usual,
home from Helmand. He is accompanied
by friends, creased, strong,
uniformed.

She turns to see him enter, a drop
of wet salt on her white cheek.
Smiles all round. Tears, sniffs,
everywhere. The sounds echo
from God’s walls.
The aroma of white lilies
rises, falls, is absorbed into the
skin on dry white faces.

Organ notes cascade like
velvet curtains, crimson, onerous.


Everyone loves a wedding.
But there will be none today.

Submitted: Friday, October 10, 2008
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