Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
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David Musgrave

Prothalamion

at the wedding of Ben Fenton-Smith and Heidi Cannock

At the end of today, or tomorrow in fact,
in the very small hours when the last of us fall
asleep, when a last cigarette is crushed
under aching feet and the moon, full
with the pock-marks of its perfection, joins
its reflection, wrinkled on the Hunter’s skin
(or the Paterson’s), a marriage of image
with image, like with itself, light
with the hope all darkness harbours —

and after our lovers have hollowed the sun
into one pledged ring and joined themselves,
finger to finger, heart to heart
and hand in hand walked through us and out
into March on the Paterson Road
and graciously accepted the salute
of the ‘Mob’ from a rusted Mobil sign
half-sunk in the ground, returned the adoring waves
of clamouring paspalum and danced on the inside
to the silent music of rusted pipes and wires;

and after they’ve started that longest drive
down the roads of my ancestors, crossing
the wind-burred brown of the Paterson River
over Dunmore Bridge, past Lorn, then Maitland,
left down the Lovedale Road, past graceful,
long-limbed gums and the burrows of hairy-nosed
wombats, ochre-clumped earth bursting
with vine after vine; and after they’ve braved
Johnny Farnham’s fifty-ninth farewell bash
next door at Tempus Two, turned right into the reception  

and held us all, once more, in the intimate chorus
of their gaze, they’ll stop — listen and drink
in our talk, eat and laugh, their beautiful folly
holding us all together in fragile moments
enduring as shared horizons; and when,
Heidi and Ben, you wake
in the lee of Brokenback Mountain
to the start of the rest of your lives,
don’t head for the coast
and the vast, mirrored towers of the big smoke —
turn left instead, go west and start that realest of journeys
in the style you’ll live together: Go for Broke.