A Wedding by Kathryn Bevis



Kathryn Bevis is Hampshire Poet Laureate and founder of The Writing School in Winchester.
In 2019 she won the Poets and Players and Against the Grain competitions, and was also shortlisted for the Nine Arches Primers scheme. She is working towards her first collection.





















That day, the thrushes finally fledged.

For weeks, I’d heard his whistled songs to her at dawn:


now-now, now-now, did-he-do-it, did-he-do-it,

then watched her plunge into the hedge, bringing grass,


roots and moss to purl with a busy beak.  She stamped

the floor with tiny feet, fed the cup with mud and spit,


pressed her speckled belly to the curve

until it grew the contours of a bird.


As we sent out invitations to the feast,

she laid a clutch of brilliant turquoise eggs.


Day after day, she sat and hatched her bulge-eyed brood.

It was a wide-beaked time that wore her sad and thin.


I’d see them both, smashing snails against an anvil,

bearing wet meat to their young. Then June came.


As I stepped into my dress, mother fastened

silk-covered buttons with her crochet hook


and I watched the last chick totter at the nest’s lip,

held my breath while it fluttered, stretched, and flew.


I brought the lice-infested nest indoors to see

a tangle of your hair strung gold against the brown. 


We have it still: her parting gift. It stinks—of food,

of flesh—this living mess, this coracle of scraps.



Kathryn Bevis


‘A Wedding’ was highly commended by Jacqueline Saphra in the Ver Poets’ competition and will be included in their anthology of winning poems.


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Devil Day by Kathryn Bevis

Gilbert White Poetry Event