A Toast by Rhea Tregebov

Where did the bride go? She was there
in a fifth floor window, in full
confection, tugging the lip of her absurd
strapless, faceless in the particular light of this
March afternoon just as I was contemplating
marriage – specifically my long-married
friends who are still married and whom
I pray shall remain thus to the end
of days or as long as they both shall wish.
I’m in a pretty hotel room with my newly
beloved amid the bustle of float planes
in the harbour and the far gentler
roar of his sleep. The small craft
lift from the water to fly their distances
and descend. I raise a glass to them,
each take-off, each landing. Here’s
to old vows, and the faith
and decency that keeps them.
And to my own parents, whom death
did part. The bride’s gone from her window
to take on more poses, a bit of the Pacific
behind her, borrowed and blue. To her,
carried years past this threshold 
she may believe now surely to be her life. 


Copyright © Rhea Tregebov. Originally published in All Souls’ (Véhicule Press, 2012).


Rhea Tregebov’s seventh collection of poetry, All Souls’, was released in 2012. Her poetry has received the Pat Lowther Award, the Malahat Review Long Poem prize, Honorable Mention for the National Magazine Awards and the Readers’ Choice Award for Poetry from Prairie Schooner. Tregebov’s historical novel, The Knife-Sharpener’s Bell, won the Segal Prize in literature and was shortlisted for the 2012 Kobzar Prize.  She is an Associate Professor Emerita in the Creative Writing Program at UBC. Follow Rhea on Twitter @RheaTregebov.


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