The Fawn Bride

There is a wedding in full swing on floor G. The bride downstairs, Jess writing her poem beside the Dove Cottage Fire

cladded in winter white (stolen from her grandmother’s closet)

sways in time to the beat of the drum, in time to her husband’s

heartbeat, in time to newlywed life. I bet she looks a royal beauty

a timid lily unfurling under his gaze later on tonight, undressing her

stems to a bare, silky root. I wonder if they know, in between sips

of rosy champagne, that the sounds of their celebration keeps the

hotel bouncing in explosive beats, out of synch with guests’ breathy

sleeps. They don’t care. The bride does not care. Some drunken fool

has stepped on her train. A muddy footprint appears and she shrieks.

She can’t return the dress now, this is for life. He has signed the dotted

line with his foot. The husband hands her another glass topped up

full, a comfort known symbolic only to those that drink. He snakes

his arm around her waist, listening to his cufflinks clink, everyone –

“cheers!” – into the light. The bride can’t help but blink causing a deer

in the headlight syndrome to begin. He moulds her into a baby fawn

speckled with fallen confetti and sad doe eyes, the perfect wedding picture.

Jessica Walker