She was their only daughter –
A bride cake of smiles and rosebud generosity!
Her skin had the glow of twenty vestal virgins
All famed for their beauty –
She was candied peel; she was heart fruit.
The music they chose was like the opening page
of a fine biography, the polished floor of its prose,
a door she had yet to walk through.
Her guests had flung her far from the shore of her beginnings:
A white wave, mother of pearl, inlaid with silver.
Romance on the scale of this slow processional
Turns back into the future
out of the cocktail of some Cyprian sunrise.
He stands at her side, this anxious jeweller,
his tall hat in his hand.
And oh, for the nurture that has bled into each moment;
ruby-red or sapphire blue: the slow incrustation
of a mineral accomplishment! Here to stay,
the bridesmaids whisper. The memory of this day
held like a hand in the golden glow of its setting:
These lawns and flowers; this white circle of permanence.
By Diana Barsham
Chichester, West Sussex
This poem was selected as a runner-up of a nationwide poetry competition run by Marriott Hotels in March 2011.