Diane K. Martin

First Wedding
March 9, 2014 Martin Diane K.

First Wedding


It was one of those days when not even the bland sun

could lift the pinched green leaves of rhododendron,


when, if she’d looked out the window as at a TV screen,

she might have seen the news broadcast as a frozen grackle,


black feathers iridescent as oil, beady eyes looking at nothing.

But if, on the other hand, as icicles hung tinkling like beaded finery,


it might have been a day of enchantment, not foreboding,

the bird just a thing of pathos, the cold merely cold.


As it was, she concentrated during the Mass on conjugating

the French verb vouloir, as she might have done, feet stirrupped


on the doctor’s table, and when the priest asked if she took this man

till death did her part, she said je le veux, smiling up at him.

Diane K. Martin’s work has appeared in Plume, American Poetry Review, Field, Kenyon Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, Tin House, ZYZZYVA, and many other journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets. Her poems have received a Pushcart Special Mention, won second place in the Nimrod Pablo Neruda prize, and won the 2009 poetry prize from Smartish Pace. Her collection, Conjugated Visits, a National Poetry Series finalist, was published in 2010 by Dream Horse Press. Her second collection, Hue and Cry, will be published in September, 2019 by MadHat Press. After thirty-six years in San Francisco, Diane moved to Sonoma, California, where she currently lives with her photographer husband and her dog.