My Wedding Gown
My wedding gown floats lightly on a
of attic sweaters, books, and broken
No flame of rapture in a young bride's
but beauty and decay in equipoise.
The satin dress has changed from white
the gauzy train is soiled from dancers'
Flowery garlands wither and unfurl
in widening diagrams of bittersweet.
This is no pampered gown, neatly
its stains removed and wrinkles ironed
this is a knight's dress armor, richly
with spirited designs to boast about.
Just like my marriage, tempered but
well-made, well-used, well-cherished,
The Most Beautiful Room in the World : Poems by
Carolyn Raphael, David Robert Books, ©
2010. First published
in Orbis. Reprinted by
permission of the author.