Gail White


Mr. Housman Socializes

When I attend a wedding,
and see the chancel bright
with girls in gaudy dresses,
the bride in blatant white,
I shudder at the sight.

The bridegroom, who most likely
went drunk last night to bed,
must now be contemplating
his wedding night with dread
and wishing he were dead.

Life’s hazard, bridal couple,
now stares you in the face:
the risk of propagating
Creation’s first disgrace,
the feckless human race.

What profit is in adding
another beating heart,
more lawyers in the law court,
more merchants in the mart,
bad politics, worse art?

The money spent on offspring
can never be repaid.
Your heirs will disappoint you,
and make you wish you’d stayed
a bachelor and maid.

Repent while time can serve you,
this morning’s marriage oath…
And now to eat this sickening
white sugar cake I’m loath.
Goodbye, and bless you both.


Gail White Gail’s career took off with the Formalist movement, since when she has published three anthologies and three books of poetry. Her work appears in several anthologies, including Villanelles and Killer Verse, both from Pocket Poets. She has twice won the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award (2012 and 2013) and is the featured poet in the first issue of the new Light. Her chapbook Sonnets in a Hostile World is available from Amazon. She lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana with her historian husband and three cats.