The Wedding Dance by Carole Martin


The bride goes down the aisle on her father’s arm,
From there on in we all know how it goes.
We catch each other’s eyes at each new step
In the old pavane. Everybody knows
More or less what to do next. This is the way
People have taken hands for life for centuries.
The pattern holds us safe; the old dance flows.

Look at us, filling the church with warmth and smiles!
A charm of hats; a great October tree
Of generations dancing the pattern out.
But weddings nudge the memory, like a key
Unlocking how we stumble over love,
In all love’s different forms, as best we can,
And try again, and forge love’s history.

For all of us are better when we’re loved,
And making patterns leaves things less to chance.
Like trees well rooted, or like steps well learned,
The rhythm holds us, so that we can glance
And let the sweetness through. Now we have come,
With all our stories, all that’s good in us,
And all we are, to let your wedding dance.