The Wedding Gift

by Carolyn Kelshaw

Another day. The bowl still rests
on the rosewood music chest.
As we pass, the air it holds
moves gently over strokes of gold
that sketch a courtly floral frieze
on curving white, with filigrees
and curlicues. The shifting air
breathes quietly of the life we share.

Two bands of gold outline the rim,
encircling all that lies within.
Its fragile walls still standing strong
through beats and cadences of song
we’ve tried to learn throughout the years.
Its porcelain withstands our fears,
then calmly winds them through its wreath
as tangerine and gold motif.

The bowl is crucible and grail—
refining fire; unfinished tale.
Here is lightness in the air—
breath of laughter, sigh of prayer.
We make this pilgrimage each day
from bed to breakfast. On the way
we pass our bowl—which simply sits,
and offers up its daily gifts.


With a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, Carolyn Kelshaw has written and published three books in anthologies and journals, writing across poetry, history, policy, communications, faith and organizational identity.


Photography by Kenneth Godoy

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