Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Another Anniversary

Yesterday was (would have been) my Silver Wedding Anniversary.

I know, I know - I was a child bride.  I'd have put a better picture here, but this is all I have: he got custody of the wedding pics - which is particularly galling when it was my mum and dad who paid for them. Moral: if you're going to leave your house and husband, plan ahead, book a van, go when he's not around and take all your stuff with you. There's only so much you can fit into a carrier bag and you know he'll change the locks.

In my defence, I ought to mention that I left in a hurry. There was a broken down door involved, and a hammer raised (to 'fix' me, not the door). 

So anyway, here's my anniversary poem that I have been wheeling out about this time over the last few years,...


I was an end of season
bargain basement bride
and I thought you looked dashing
in your best suit – blue grey
(those were the days before
I knew I had the choice,
that some materials are sensual, soft
and others rough, always rubbing
you up the wrong way).

Who'd have thought it?
A quarter of a century
since you took this woman
to be your wife.
And where are you today
you bastard?

We tripped back to mum's 
for the hired-in buffet – too posh –
and everyone nervous of
the silverware and frills, none of us
knowing what things were:
I'd never had pavlova, never
even been to a wedding.
I'd do things differently 
with hindsight – a bigger party,
cheap and cheerful, everyone I knew –
oh, and I wouldn't 
have married you.

Wherever you are*, just be grateful
for the miserable years we were spared
and some things we think are 'forever'
turn out to be short-lived affairs.

*Actually, I know exactly where he is... to be continued


  1. We seperated just after our 25th anniversary (I too was a child bride). No hammers were involved.

  2. The poems of Liz B. Browning would have been greatly improved had they included the line "And where are you today you bastard?"
    Are your works on the 'A' level syllabus?

  3. My in-laws were against the match from the word 'go'. And speaking of matches, this where we had our wedding reception.

    Father-in-law must have set a long fuse!

  4. Dave - I always think people who make it that long (without hammers) deserve medals!

    Vicus - Strangely, no. BUt I agree - a lot of poems would be enhanced by a smattering (smiting?) of verbal abuse

    Martin - It's strange to see our own 'significant locations' being razed to the ground. It's like our history is eroding or being erased.

  5. A former colleague of mine has an interesting take on looking back, here.

  6. Martin - I think you were directing me specifically to the quote about the angel? - which I love! I've resisted getting involved in the rest of the discussion around ZAMM - which I found unreadable (I hated the 'voice' of the author).

  7. Yes, ZAMM was on my bookshelf for a long, long time. Half-read and unloved.

    The quote about the angel is something quite wonderful, though. Glad you liked it.

  8. I agree - you should be on the syllabus. Reminds me a bit of Wendy Cope and Carol Ann Duffy's poems 'The World's Wife'. Do you know them?

  9. Rog - The Pavlova was a bit like the marriage - it crumbled as soon as you tried to get hold of it.

    RA - I actually consider myself very lucky. If it hadn't been quite so bad I might have stayed and been miserable for decades!

    Martin - I did, thanks!

    Fran - What a tremendous complement! I love The World's Wife and Carol Ann Duffy is performing locally the week after next. I also love Wendy Cope as I've mentioned before I think.

  10. Happy Unanniversary - I rushed into marriage (shortly before I turned 30 - no child bride here - which might have had something to do with it...) in 1992 and was (reasonably amicably, no kids) divorced by 1998. I'm enjoying myself at 46, but with a lovely partner who shares my space at weekends. It works well.

  11. Hi imagespast & welcome - I love 'unanniversary'! I feel lucky (and occasionally unlucky) not to have kids. Glad things worked out for you!