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cover art Poems from the Other Land by Ruth Mark
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A   C u r i o u s   W e d d i n g

The bride wore red. Blood red damask,
heavy for June with a thick embroidered
panel running from throat to feet. Her hair was
a loose bob of curls framing her face.
The groom was in jeans and a dirt-
coloured top. They stood beneath a tree while
a woman and a man, both adorned in
sheets ribbed with embroidered symbols, blessed
them with smoking incense, swinging
lanterns that wouldn’t look out
of place at a barbeque. The guests
got blessed too, one by one they
approached silent. All carried out
on the Hei, fen land in Hilversum, Holland
all under an oak tree and not a
word exchanged. Silence reigned. The
strangest wedding I’ve ever witnessed
where no-one smiled, the solemnity of
nature-worship no laughing matter
whether it’s your wedding day or not.
Camp-chairs waiting in a row
ready for the after-feast.


First appeared in Sojourn, Fall 2005

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