To have and to hold…

It is the 14th.

I am shaking under the shawl draped over my shoulders.

I take numbered steps to our grand picture with the golden frame.
The one where you held the cup to my lips as I covered you with my eyes.

The day we bled in our vows.

5 years later, I bathed you in my kisses.

And you still rode your lonely horse to a war that was beckoning.

I hugged my knees to feel warm, gnashed to make music.

You were far away and I was in love.

This is the 14th.

I dread the letters we have scribbled over the years.

They’re haunting with heavy truths.

You sounded happy, your words danced across margins.

And my heart wondered at how glad you were in a distant country.

Another woman?

Maybe younger, sensual, fair and playful?

God, no…

My letters were clean, formal and painful.

Honey, you’re far and our bed is cold.

It is the 14th.

I feel my belly, it is silent as a dome.

10 years of silence, yet you promised to never walk.

Not when the meetings held, not when your Mother swore.

Not when I whispered “Maybe you should go on”

Today is the 15th.

Our vows are resounding like timeless gongs.

To have and to hold…

But where are you?

In sickness and in health…

Where are you?

It’s 10 years since I walked down the aisle and bowed to your promises.

Lord, I’m dreaming again.

All I have now is a cup of tea.


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