A Blessing of Sorts

For V&K on their wedding

Let it all stop for a day,

the traffic and the argument,

the work grind and the government,

the promises daily betrayed,


the births, the deaths, the growing old,

the hating, killing, blaming – yes,

all loss, all grief, all loneliness:

let the whole show be put on hold.


Let there be silence, let thought be still,

let the world pause, let there be peace

on however temporary a lease,

as though we’d stepped off time’s treadmill.


Let there be just this here and now,

the two of you, and in this place

the fickle, momentary grace

which is all our destinies allow 


but which translates each solitary

stumbling individual

through a clumsy ritual

through your union’s poetry


into a statement we dare to hope

will stay true at the deepest level

the brutal years will not unravel:

that in commitment lies the scope


to find your best self in the other,

to know that when you drift apart

you fail yourself; that today you start

the dangerous, radiant endeavour


to build a life more than the sum

of what each would have been alone,

so as you leave your comfort zone

we bless what you can now become


while knowing that it’s also true

there’s a challenge in your happiness

to all of us, as we assess

whether we’re willing to renew


our own search for that high, hard way

your love has signposted today.

Published in Snakeskin 265, October 2019