I hear church bells in the distance.
Yesterday I thought I would be there,
but here I am, the runaway bride,
standing by the side of the road
with the suitcase I’d packed so carefully for my honeymoon.
I try to imagine what Richard is doing right now.
What he might be thinking.
Is my mother regretting the money she spent on my gown?
Is my father wondering about the reception—
whether they will just carry on
since he will have to pay for the hundred meals
whether they are eaten or not?
Will my sister blame me forever
for the dress I’ve made her wear with no payoff?
Who will announce
to the assembled guests
that the bride will not be in attendance?
A truck slows. In the back are cages of chickens
and one muddy pig.
The old farmer asks where I am going.
“Anywhere you’re going,” I announce,
and hitch up my skirts,
flip my bridal veil over my shoulder
and climb up into the pickup.
As we take off to wherever,
I notice that my veil has come off my shoulder.
Through the side rear vision mirror, I can see it
flapping cheerily in the wind
as we drive past the church,
and I see the groom, mouth agape.
I do not wave good-bye.
Narrative Poem for dVerse Poets. Photo by Dylan Nolte on Unsplash, used with permission.