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.