Single pink leaf, pressed between the pages,
In the bedroom by her suitcase, her mind a mile away.
First kiss, first flush, giggles in the churchyard,
Dizzy breath, rose blush, the dream she dared to pray.

She turns the page to verdant green,
Bells chime with her belief.
With shy-brown eyes, she hears the vows
As fragile as a leaf.

Then orange as a butterfly, yellow as the moon,
She sparkles with another joy that ended all too soon.
Between the pages all compressed their hopes, their joys, their fears;
Where now the spring of promise in the autumn of her years?

An earth-stained,
Sin-stained sheet -
A testament to consequence,
A momentary slip?
A plump and lonely tear traces out a pathway,
Settles as a damp patch in the nick of nose and lip.

Veined, silver-grey leaf, paper-thin as promise,
Crisp and fragile, feather-light and frail.
What hope now for this long-since novice?
She questions the existence of the matrimonial grail.

She closes down the suitcase lid on years of silent torment,
Picture postcard couple - the lie the world believes.
If only tears could moisten, revitalise the arid.
She casts aside her memories …. and leaves.

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