The Recessional

by Carrie Jerrell

Then arm-in-arm they quickstep down
the aisle, matrimony’s new recruits,
parading for the crowd of relatives
and seasoned friends who secretly count down
the days until the war begins: disputes
about which house, which job, which sedatives
will work on their A.D.H.D. kids; the sneak
attacks of Lust and Pride; the mind games played
by Insecurity; and Time’s unending
siege which leaves so few survivors.
Lightning streaks
the sky. Children throw rice that ricochets
like buckshot off the car, and towards impending
rain, the groom carries his bride so her train won’t drag.
It surrenders to the wind, a big white flag.


Carrie Jerrell is the author of the book After the Revival, 2008 winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. She received her MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and her PhD in English from Texas Tech University, where she was honored as a Chancellor’s Fellow. Currently, she is an assistant professor of English and associate director of the MFA program at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.