An April day, the light as sharp as paint, Sea air, and yet no hint of on-shore chill. It was the perfect day for lifetime vows. Not a hint of the dark shadows to come. The twenty-something groom, so like His handsome father, same warm eyes And easy smile, grey waistcoat, white sleeves, Upright at the wheel of a sporty soft-top. Later, the wood-beamed church in stone-cooled Shade, another twenty-something presiding, Youngish anyway, and a would-be actor, In love with the words that made the couple one. Then the photoshoot in light to die for, Brown river tumbling through mossy rocks Below, while we clutched flutes of champagne And our impatience, shadowed by a laurel hedge.
Eventually we ate and danced and boozed - I remember a lurching stab at the Gay Gordons - The smooching newly-weds held each other tight Oblivious to whatever lay ahead. You drove us back to the hotel through Darkened streets. We slept uneasily Before the early hours return of the Drunken Baltic golfers, bloated with Scottish beer. Perhaps the perfect day ended just then, Gone forever; instead, the dark clock ticking.
Richard Knott has written several books of modern history, notably The Sketchbook War and, most recently, Posted in Wartime. A book on artists and writers in the period 1936-1956 is set to be published in 2020. He is also working on his first collection of poetry. He lives in Somerset.