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by Mary Brunini McArdle

She stands there
At the window waiting;
The chapel where
She should have been
Deserted, the flowers
Long ago replaced.

Her posture is much
As it was that morning:
Almost prepared–
Loose combs tucked in her hair,
Her bisque gown
Buttoned down the back.

The wedding veil
Rests on the console table,
Ready to crown her head
And frame her face
For the beloved
Who never came.

The trees reflected
In the window panes
Blend with the scattered sequins
On her skirt
Like tapers at
Some solemn vespers service.

They say she’s still behind
That grime-streaked glass;
Her body shrunken,
Silk-clad shoulders stooped;
Her naked fingers
Playing with the veil.

Copyright © 2009 by Mary Brunini McArdle

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