The Chain That Shackles Love

photo at gretna green hotels

Oh Gretna Green, exalted place, young love’s impetuous mistake,
Optimistic souls unite, above an anvil troth they plight,
Bagpipes loll with limbs outspread until their breath returns,
On motorway, the sun ascends, a far horizon burns,
The birds sing out, hope rises new, as glimmers of the day peep through,
Light crept above the concrete mall, wool shop, whisky shop and all.
Through golden sunrise jumped a ray,
That flash brought Jack to earth, on summer’s longest day.

Officials who logged on first thing, learned of a legal glitch,
All weddings made in Gretna had one important hitch,
Each certificate of marriage, each wedding was destroyed,
Was cancelled out, abolished, repealed and null and void.
Cumbria News cries out all day, to those that Gretna wed,
‘Technically, legally, you are not now, have never been,’ they said.

Ask yourself what you would do if put in this dilemma,
Would you marry them again, keep the same old fella?
Would husbands start again, propose, and go through the whole thing?
Would they have to book a room, a meal and buy a ring?
Gretna Green was sanctified by antiquated rules,
But now the Gretna bureaucrats were made to look like fools.

Women thought, ‘I see that I’ve been single all my life,
A mother yes, a cook, a maid, but not it seems, a wife.’
Husbands scratched their heads, they paused and listened to the news,
Weren’t married now, had never been, felt anxious and confused.
The news rolled like a clap of thunder,
‘All set free in one big blunder.’

Jack’s sabotage was done, he watched the summer haze,
He had to hitch a sunbeam ride, to grasp the dying rays,
And wait in space for his next chance, next June the 21st,
Might make another joke go far too far, might do his worst.
A good day’s work for Jack the yearly, Jack the naughty, Jack the nearly.
Some were glad and some were sad, but Jack was quite elated,
He melted back into the sun, became a flame, and waited.

Lorraine Mackay

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