by Sophie Hannah
(First of the Last Chances, Carcanet) For Rachel and Ian
Marriage’s rather grand accommodation
Can make a budding love succeed or fail.
We stumble in and ask for information
Regarding all the properties for sale
And marriage is the price-on-application
Castle with grounds, moat, lake and nature trail.
Some kid themselves and think they can afford it
And when their love runs out it’s repossessed
While others, who do better in love’s audit
And whose allegiances deserve the best
Because they are the best, those ones can lord it
Over the squabbling and half-hearted rest.
Today the castle has its rightful buyer,
Its asking price, and it will not be trumped
Because the bidding can’t go any higher;
This is a love that will not be gazumped
By any other applicant, hard-trier
Or any living heart that ever thumped.
Marriage is love’s new house. Love has invested
Its savings wisely, bought the place outright.
It has had several flats, and it has rested
Its head in many a hotel and campsite.
This is the best of all the homes it’s tested.
This is where it will sleep now, every night.
(Thank you, Norm)