NaPoWriMo 09 – day 22

image by pareerica


She was halfway to the church,
and late.
Waiting at another railway crossing,
the train
flashing past ticketty-tak, ticketty-tak,
the faces
turning her way, fingers pointing, though what they
could make 
out under all the froth and tulle … well.

The cake
she’d made herself, to save money, and iced
singing a silly lovey-dove song as she worked
the paste
of almond and egg-white, rolled it out
and draped
it over the cake, like satin sheets over the bed
she’d made up
before she left their house, knowing that
this day
would need all her planning, forethought, attention
to detail …

The rushing seemed wrong. This should be dignified,
-ending true. Elegant, calm. Serene
not chaotic.
First the flowers, then the call from the
makeup girl,
stuck in traffic, can’t make it, my fault, so sorry. Even the
best laid
plans … She smoothed the heavy skirt across her knees
the way
her grandmother used to. When I do this for real,
I’ll make
sure I leave more time to— 
and it hits her: this was
no game,
no dress-rehearsal. The real thing. The one time.
For always.

And the car pulls away as her manicured
press tremulous smiles into her palms. Her friends
don’t say
anything, if they noticed, (they noticed) but
a change
comes over the three, as though some sort of deal
was made:
the bride settles her armour around her, a
of sorts, her comrades girded in satin and fine
black lace …

In a wooden church, off in the distance, a young man
is waiting.


Yep, we’re back to seriously-weird-and-very-definitely-first-draft territory. This image was a photo prompt from ReadWritePoem. (The image itself can be seen here, at pareerica’s flicker photostream page thingy.) It cross-pollinated with their next prompt, which was “Rites of Passage”. And then tangled for good measure with a memory of my own.  No idea what this will eventually turn itself into. Writing the draft, I just let the sounds (especially that long flat A) decide what happened when. I’m going to enjoy going back to this and editing, I think. And I’m finally just about able to post such a raw draft without wincing!   (Into the final third of April. Woohoo!)

2 Replies to “NaPoWriMo 09 – day 22”

  1. I especially like the last stanza with the armor/crusader/comrade imagery at odds with what weddings are supposed to be about. And I love this line: “manicured fingernails press tremulous smiles into her palms.” I understand what you mean about sharing rough drafts; I have putting pieces out that aren’t polished. This month has been good for me that way.

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