which way the bride

at every turn the bus jolted, surged
as it ground downhill after the wedding day
the bride asleep
in the old double decker
resurrected to transport the guests to
and from the gothic venue
among charmed hills
the engine kicked and complained
so loud I thought the bride
directly above it might die
if a loose piston shot through the crank case
or perhaps my granddaughter sleeping beside her
might be horribly injured
but I calculated the chances
as close enough to zero
and despite my anxiety
I did not disturb the ad hoc
sleeping arrangements
the bliss of exhaustion
and all’s well that starts well
or at least continues
its positive trend
while revellers sip on their last pinot and bubbles
and the groom saunters, leans among guests
with bonhomie and humorous prognostications
nearing the town one fine fellow
leaps from the bus and sprints into the darkness
minutes later he reappears
jumps back on board
being a familiar of the city
he’d predicted the route
and took a short cut through the
elation of the evening
kind of fitting at the end of a marriage feast
to seek the direct route and employ
one’s legs as fast as one can
back to where one started from
that is, the bus, not its position in the city on
the surface of what seems a
kindly planet tonight
it’s dark now outside
and inside the bus
the passengers
wind down in their cups or
wind up for the next stage of their
soft journey home
ah, beauty
the bride awakes
perhaps she dreams