Saturday, December 22, 2012

David Mark Williams is a fine poet based in south-west Scotland. I like this account of a seemingly-doomed-from-the-start marriage - everything comes from surrounding details. It was a Ragged Raven prizewinner. Check out his website:

The Year of my First Wedding 

During the springtime of that year,  
the war began: two syllables of triumph  
crowing from a front page, 
a grainy shot of a dissolving ship. 

While we walked in the park  
through shaken petals of white blossom,  
men fell, on fire, into a dark sea. 

Drink Argentina Dry, an off-licence slogan ran, 
and a small army of drinkers  
responded to the call, carrying home 
their bottles of wine like unexploded bombs,  
as though wading waist deep in water. 

The week before the big day, I left a hole 
in the lounge where I should have been, 
witnessing  an incursion of early presents, 
bolting upstairs instead to be sick. 
The crinkling of all that paper had set me off. 

The day of the wedding rumbled into place. 
It had been prepared so beautifully, a sky 
of powdered blue hoisted as far as it would go, 
with the sun bright enough to burn us. 
All the photographs show our eyes 
hard pressed to keep from closing. 

The night before I listened to my heart 
drum its reservations, rasping through 
the coiled springs of the folding bed,  
until I awoke into the lucid dream 
of going through with it. 

After that, the speeches were a breeze 
When the best man read out the telegram 
from Galtieri, defiant still, 
there was a ripple of unease 
quickly turning into a chorus of jeers 
as though everyone agreed, and it had to be said,  
we had indeed fought a good war there.


  1. Many thanks for posting this, Donald. Glad you like the poem so much. It's very encouraging.

    1. To me, every detail resonates with every other - the personal and the war metaphor, leading up to the savage last line - devastating.