Friday 29 April 2011


After the wedding
the prince and the goosegirl
rode off in their coach to live in a hall of mirrors.

After the wedding
roses sprang from the graveyard and twined their way
right up the church, to the very top of the steeple.

After the wedding
little white doves flew down
and pecked out the eyes of the two jealous sisters.

After the wedding
the soldier shouldered his musket
and returned to the wars.

And after the wedding
the orphan child limped home in paper-soled shoes
over a causeway brittle with broken glass.

''After the Wedding': copyright Katherine Langrish 2011
 'Love Among the Ruins': Edward Burne-Jones


  1. What a super poem, Kath! Thanks!

  2. Wonderful, tricksy, (and poignant) poem. When I first read it, I thought the soldier was the groom and the orphan was the poor, doomed child of the bride and groom. But then I read it out loud and realized that the events are all happening on the same day. But then I thought otherwise, again. Very rich.

  3. You are right about it all happening on the same day, at least that's what I meant. I think it's about the aftermath: the world is both changed and unchanged: the wedding doesn't heal anything, the world of the story doesn't end with the happy ending (which is ambiguous anyway). But that's the way the poem came. Thankyou for liking.