It’s the season of wedding anniversaries! Ours today, which we share with several friends, and many more to celebrate over the summer.
We’re only at Lace (13 years) and very grateful for every year. I love celebrating with people who have reached the Silver, Ruby, Gold and Diamond milestones. Here’s a poem I wrote as a gift for the golden wedding of a fellow writer and her husband; it’s a sonnet in the style of John Donne.
I see myself reflected in your eyes,
and in my gaze, I know you are reflected
and so with every glance, the image flies
from each to each, and thus we are connected.
In every look, our miniatures are given
in fair exchange, until we both possess
a thousand pictures, paired and interwoven,
shared and cherished for our happiness.
And if we ever should, one day, grow old –
absurd and far-off though that day may be –
well then, our images shall turn to gold
as Autumn’s smiling gaze transforms a tree.
(Forgive these strange conceits. It’s sometimes fun
to go all metaphysical like Donne.)
(Postscript: apparently the appropriate gift for a 46th anniversary is poetry. I’ll be keeping my eye out for that one!)
Since I was performing this one again on Saturday as part of my Celebration Stories programme (newly rewritten for 2017!) I thought I’d pop it up here.
It has appeared in various forms at various occasions, including as a rhyming skit shared with a puppet, but I prefer performing it exactly as I first wrote it; and while it does make little references to the stories that have gone before, it works by itself too. Whatever else has happened first, I always introduce it by reading Luke 15 verses 7 and 10: ‘Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance…there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’
When the angels have a party, there’s excitement in the air
as they gather in a great big heavenly hall;
and I bet they decorate it with balloons on every chair,
and feathered bunting strung along the wall.
There must be swinging music from a cherubic big band,
while seraphim sing anthems in the heights,
and angels jitterbug and jive, all hand in hand,
with the sun and moon as giant disco lights.
I’m sure that there are platters made of silver, full of treats,
with a pristine tablecloth spread underneath:
crisps and tiny sandwiches and cherry buns and sweets
(and in heaven, sugar doesn’t rot your teeth).
And of course there is a cake – it’s not a party without cake –
and on the cake, in icing, is a name:
it’s the name of an extremely special person, for whose sake
the party started and the angels came.
So who is it, this famous one who’s making Gabriel play,
for whom archangels threw this jamboree?
When I accepted God my father and his love, that day –
the party held in heaven was for me.