GOLDEN


As luck would have it, we were married this day

exactly half a century ago.

We holiday with our small family

to avoid the inevitable party

and announce our golden wedding to friends

via Facebook – and receive some humbling

encouragements that speak not simply

of being there like pebbles as the tide

ebbs and flows but of inspiration.

 

We chose to honeymoon by Bantry Bay.

Ireland spoke of mystery and romance –

to us ignorant of its privations.

As we drove through the town that August Sunday,

the sun lowering over the Atlantic,

some church festival was finishing.

A wedding guest had hidden confetti

in our suitcase so, as you unpacked our clothes

for the first time, gaudy paper disks fluttered

over the bed beneath The Sacred Heart.

Our week was ended with upset stomachs.

We had had lunch – potatoes, carrots, bacon –

in a dark panelled restaurant in Cork,

surrounded by unsmiling nuns and priests.

We were infidels in Calvary land.

 

On the return ferry, to save money,

we spent the night in armchairs in the bar.

Before midnight a gale blew up that rolled us

forty five degrees starboard to port and back.

We could see ships nearby in Liverpool Bay

bucking as in a cartoon of a tempest.

Behind the bar’s locked grills, glasses and bottles

shattered. Bench seats along the saloon’s sides

broke free and two lines of strangers grinning

with fear briefly curtsied to each other.

 

‘Strange to be there, beginning something new,’

I wrote that autumn. ‘Strange to go there,

hoping for what might come.’ The narrow fields

and lanes seemed untouched since the Great Hunger –

yet the dry stone walls were festooned for miles

with wild fuchsia and honeysuckle. Now

it seems as if we had known that we would learn there

how to weather sickness, storms – and bask in joy.

 

 

 

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  1. #1 by Ian Craine - August 24th, 2016 at 10:49

    Congratulations to you both. Have a lovely day- and many, many more to come.

  2. #2 by Tricia Durdey - August 26th, 2016 at 20:12

    Oh, beautiful.

  3. #3 by Theresa Brady - August 28th, 2016 at 20:43

    A lovely story. X

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