The Best Man by James Taylor

Football came home
in nineteen sixty-six,
my brother's wedding, another match
on the same day, not a friendly,
England against Argentina, a knock-out game
on the way to Wembley.
 
I'm the 'Best Man' with no experience
of the part
and my heart's
not in it, like a lamb
to the slaughter,
they should have given it to someone else,
someone smarter,
 
Uncles in the background
sharpening their knives
set to mark my homework,
the speech I'd sweated on for days,
standing in my unfamiliar suit,
ready to toast the telegrams
and read the bridesmaids.
 
A perfect wedding
with no tears,
except for the empty chair
at the top table,
and no-one, to check
if I'd washed behind my ears.

Comments   

0 #1 PHILIP Burton 2021-09-11 06:19
Encapsulates, on more than one level, the tension and drama of a big event.
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