Wedding in Richmond by Carol Was

Wedding in Richmond


they’re roasting a pig at Tuckahoe Plantation
crowds gather on the grounds
where little Thomas Jefferson once lived
sweet jasmine tangles in the garden
banjos play on the hill
barbecued pork scents the air
the bride with promises on her lips
wears rosebuds in her hair
a small schoolhouse still stands
and the original kitchen
butter churn in the corner
pewter pitcher on the hearth
a place out of time
long skirts sway to the music
newlyweds dance across the grass
and the road has lost its edge
thick with overgrown roots
I am swallowed up by the night of little fires
gnarled catalpa trees

something’s burning on River Road
behind the master’s big house
hawks soaring overhead
but the wind owns these mountains
and a haunting rhythm of galloping horses
wafts through diminishing light
among the wildflowers
under a bruised and moonless sky
where young boys learned to be gentlemen
who knew what they cooked up there
evening shadows are flickering
like lost souls near the old slave quarters
still clinging to roots
where shackles used to lay
tree branches creak and moan
above the James River
dark is closing in
from towering oaks
torches ablaze

Carol Was
Carol Was is the Poetry Editor for The MacGuffin. Her poetry has appeared in The Southern Review, The Gettysburg Review, CT Review, among others, and nominated for Best New Poets. Childhood summers spent on a family farm in West Virginia, fishing trips with her father, and working in the fossil lab at Cranbrook Institute of Science, helped shape her appreciation and concern for the natural world.

Featured image: Tuckahoe Plantation – May by Merriment Events. CC license. Image cropped.

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2 thoughts on “Wedding in Richmond by Carol Was”

  1. “Wedding in Richmond” is a taut poem with vibrant images,
    many of them surprising in some way. I certainly enjoyed the poem!

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