A Southern Marriage

From across the river, in the low country
to the warm embrace of southern hospitality
they all came, the rich and the farmers
the in, the out, the sons and the daughters

For it was to be the prominent doctor
to wed a father's only daughter
she had been taught since birth
to marry a man of substantial worth

But no one knew this southern belle
was secretly in love with another man
one of her father's hired hands
a worker on the family plantation

He would always leave a single rose
for her love under the maple tree
two suitors, one promised to love her
but the other had the heart of a father's daughter

Around the town there was heard a gossiping
questioning the daughter's true intentions
and caught between divergent roads
growing restless as the day approached

Amidst it all no one could hear the crying
of a torn father's only daughter
and no one could see the pacing
of a despairing, unsuitable lover

The day come, there was bustling activity
for this preordained holy matrimony
it was to be held in the capital building
and afterwards a celebration

In famous stride there was the father
exchanging kudos with the town mayor
there was the groom, a distinguished man
dressed the best in all the land

The music started, there was a sigh
everyone expecting a beauty in white
when suddenly there rose a clamor
everyone turned to see what was the matter

All at once, the curtain came down
bridesmaids, the best man all in frowns
a woman in white, another man
an illicit breath upon her hand

For a long time there was the groom
left standing at the altar
and then there was the father
with no explanation for the town mayor

Everyone else could make sense
of a marriage all so good for business
how could she ever do
what wasn't expected, prudent, or proper?

They were both never seen again
but around town there's a new tradition
young suitors leave a single rose
for their loves under that maple tree
And that's the story of two lovers
a hired hand, a not so proper daughter

by Kevin Howell

Comments (2)

Most enjoyable sonnet to read.
again... already posted.. :)