Today, a poem about a wedding. The form, epithalamium, dating back at least to Catullus (get thee to a reference, to read about this ancient Greek!) Classically, addressed to the bride. Modernly, about 'the whole wedding experience.' That should be easy enough, since we are less than a year away past one family wedding, another imminent. (postscript 1: Now I have written, but despair at having more generalities than details, more prose than poetry. Ah, but that's the fun of NaPoWriMo, the whole process is fuel for further writing.) (postcript 2, Day 4: And thus I have edited it, as it reads now:
by Shirley Franklin
Now there's a mouthful for you.
So you're the young woman who has stolen our son's heart. Slender and small, gracious to the core, spunky, and smart. I can see why he likes you, loves you, fell in love with you the moment you met, moment of amazing grace, at the wedding reception of his sister's friend.
I braced my mother's heart, prepared for bouts of jealousy, but none occurred. Only that surprising chill as he exclaimed, "Mom! See that girl over there...Isn't she the most beautiful girl in the world?? I'm going over to talk to her..." A shiver whisked down my spine. I looked, but couldn't as yet discern you, one among a bright, laughing cluster of young women and men across the room. All looked beautiful, to aging me. But I shivered with - what?, because I knew, this time, that his words rang true.
Soon you came, laughing, together, toward me. "Guess what, she says you know her parents!" Also true. Unwittingly, an old friendship was renewed. Though we heard little for a year or two, there remained the possibility of you. Protective parents, we all doubted. We pouted. But to no avail. You were on a trajectory toward a family of your own. Gradually you became more real to us, your unexpectedly husky voice urging, 'Let me do the dishes,' cheering our children on in a marathon, joining us on our senior neighborhood walks, travelling, returning, sharing your hopes and dreams.
A friend to our son, patient keeper of the dream, still, you waited til your studies were complete, waited til both families, finally, had to agree. Amidst joy and jobs, trips at home and abroad, to relatives, to each other, you were on a trajectory toward a family of your own. Listening, explaining, helping, suggesting, laughing, reminding. I watched, and saw it was true. I saw grace and joy, peace and contentment, mutual concern.
Your wedding was a fairy tale, colorful blur of conviviality and celebration. Sunshine, God, our families, friends...all blessed you and rejoiced in your joy. A wedding, with all its ceremony, ritual, angst and joy may be over in a week or a day, but the real heartbeat of wedding is a commitment that will not always be easy to keep. Participants and guests, tired, happy, breathless, all go away. We share for moments, with luck, years, the treasures of son and daughter in law, daughter and son in law, and pray that they will cherish each other after we move on; that their commitment to family, a life together, that the treasure continue, we pray.
So you're the young woman who has stolen our son's heart. It would be hard not to love you. We can see why our son loves you, fell in love with you the moment you met. We like you, we love you too.