They stand each side of a wedding cake,
so young and thin and puzzled there.
He holds a knife above the icing.
Her eyes fall inward, her mouth unsure.
The image, badly stuck on card,
dwarfed by a shabby, tarnished frame,
they gaze on to a room now hardly used.
Bruised by life, their older selves
succumbed to television and the news.
The hollow glee of lottery night
held their separate shrinking faces like a vice,
until the final draw,
the torn up ticket in the ashtray.
I loaded the van, slammed the door,
and drove into my orphaned future.
The others didn’t want the picture.
It rattled around in a box of plates.
I heard it all the hundred miles,
cutting through my healing songs.
The other end, I saw the glass had cracked.
The cake pristine, the knife absurd.
A splinter of light lay between
their now lost faces; a final word?
© 2018 Mark Mayes