We’re in Ringwood Church and running late.
Pews are packed with broad-brimmed hats
and shop-sharp suits. While hiding behind
the choir stalls, Mona and me fumble
into our bridesmaids’ dresses.
Kneeling on the icy flags and frigid with fear
I’m threading stiff arms into a
Cartland-pink froth of lace.
But my vest shows, high over
the scalloped neckline.
And it’s too late. Heavy doors thud open.
The organ plays ‘Tip-toe through the tulips’
A candy-floss vision of net, sequins and feathers,
Tania advances up the aisle. Clump – clump – creeeeak…
Her size 10 Doc Martin’s squeak at every third step
as she drops a curtsey to the congregation.
Mona and me scramble out in front of the altar.
Tawny eyes narrowed,
Tania’s gaze razes me to ashes.
“What the fuck jer look like?”
I flick away Mona’s hand seeking mine,
hoping Tania will blame her – not me…
On waking, I run to tell Mona,
giggling with relief it’s just a dream.
thirty-five years on – whenever
Life leaves me church-chilled and craven,
wishing someone else was to blame –
Tania Honey’s Wedding
still slips through the cracks
of my forgetting.