Replacement

We put on party hats, pop corks, and link
our arms. She doesn't like it, doesn't ride
victorious and proud. She'd rather hide
behind her anonymity and slink
between the strokes of midnight. Her eyes blink
uneasily. An unknown, date-stamped bride
to all the world, her predecessor died
and here she is, reluctant, on the brink
of being, and without a name. I hate
the morning sun. Our fears and problems writhe
in unforgiving light. Don't sing your tune
too eagerly, if you would celebrate.
This bride will be unveiled all too soon:
dawn races round the planet, like a scythe.

© Peter Howard

first published in Poetry Life 1997