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A Wedding at the Kruger Farm

Jena Woodhouse

midsummer eve

This is where the wedding party gathered

that midsummer eve – the family farm –

the bride a swan, diaphanous as Baltic dawns;

the bride's mother exuberant, her father quietly gratified,

her brother and his recently-wed student wife

taking turns to pacify an infant that would not subside.

After the wedding banquet in the new annexe behind the house,

guests flocked to the fragrant garden flanked by Norfolk Island pines;

dense leaves of young coffee trees adorned with clustered

scarlet beans lit by strings of coloured bulbs – electric butterflies –

where musicians set the pace for dancing far into the night,

while from the narrow balcony Frau Kruger smiled and smiled.

Flushed with wine, limbs warmed by rhythmic movement

that had synchronised, we slipped away, clandestine,

into darkness flecked with luminescence light years

on a journey culminating in that summer night, in thrall

to some more ancient bacchanal beyond the festive garden,

where the bride gleamed like a candle, circumscribed by kindly light.

Jena Woodhouse has book publications in poetry, adult fiction and children's fiction. Her writing has received awards in all three genres. She spent more than a decade living and working in Greece, where she was employed as an arts journalist for a subsidiary of the "International Herald Tribune", and has also spent time in a number of other western, central and east European countries. She has been awarded creative residencies in Scotland, Ireland, France and Greece. Her interest in archaeology, the arts, languages and cultural history, travel and the natural environment are sources of inspiration for much of her writing.

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