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Picture 10274190, 20th century photograph by H Armstrong Roberts, image copyright Mary Evans / Classic Stock

To Beattie and Dave
by Dilys Wood

I want your marriage to be

as timeless as the Pyramid of Djoser,

as defiant as Custer’s Last Stand,

as together as Apollo’s two flags

stuck in moon-dust up there, as happy

as if you were long-lived Giant Turtles,

or – perhaps you never heard of this? –

as chuffed as Ming, the Deep Sea Clam, who lived

five-hundred and seven years in Icelandic waters

finally cocking his clogs in 2006…


I want your marriage to be

as solid as an All Blacks scrum,

capped as often as Richie McCaw,

as intuitive as Mesut Ozil,

as tenacious as Novak Djokovic

as surprising (in a good way)

as Ian Botham in the 1981 Test Series

when he made three-hundred and ninety-nine runs

and took thirty-four wickets,

though no-one thought it could be done.


I want your marriage to be

as celebratory as The Queen’s Ninetieth Birthday,

as healthy as five fruits a day,

as packed with vitamins as a pint of Guinness,

as cheerful as colony of Adelie Penguins

who feared nothing, who squawked at Scott’s huskies,

as solid as Solidarity,

as resilient as Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards,

who qualified for the ’88 Winter Olympics

while living, free of charge, in a Finnish mental hospital.


I want your marriage to be

all the joys you pretend not to remember –

your first walk on a beach without nappies,

getting a Gold Star from teacher,

saying you don’t have a headache

from drinking Vodka and Peach Juice Cocktails,

picking up the bits of nights ‘best forgotten’,

saying Happy Birthday a week late to a dear parent –

yes, I want your union to be

everything you both are, and aspire to be, and more.





© Dilys Wood


Picture 10274190, 20th century photograph by H Armstrong Roberts, image copyright Mary Evans / Classic Stock


Dilys Wood founded Second Light Network of Women Poets in 1994. Her collections are Women Come to a Death (Katabasis, 1997) and Antarctica (Greendale Press, 2008).  She has co-edited Second Light’s ARTEMISpoetry and the following anthologies of women’s poetry: Fanfare (2015), Her Wings of Glass (2014), Images of Women (Arrowhead Press, in association with Second Light, 2006), My Mother Threw Knives (Second Light Publications, 2006), Making Worlds (Headland with Second Light, 2003) and Parents (Enitharmon Press, 2000).  ARTEMISpoetry is a bi-annual poetry magazine in which all poetry, reviews and articles are by women solely concerned with women’s poetry.

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