There you stand Payne Murphy,
Beneath the thick bough of an ancient oak,
With Allyson, the answer
To your heart’s yearning,
Glowing beautifully in the late evening sun,
As a bride shall do.
But in that holy moment,
The two of you before the minister,
Your own Uncle Boyd,
Transformed in a mystery
From an individual man and woman
Into husband and wife –
One flesh – in Jesus Christ,
There beside you also stand
The souls of Percy Murphy,
Raiford, James, many forebears
Of our family, looking with hope and joy
Upon their offspring,
Now growing to maturity.
The future rests upon your shoulders,
And upon all the youthful generation –
The future of our family, the future of the Church,
The future of the Southern people.
October is the time of nature’s waning;
Leaves grow sere and shadows lengthen.
But in the Grace of a wedding,
This law is overturned,
As renewal enters the world:
A new branch of the family tree emerges,
Formed of P. M. and Allyson Fife,
And our eyes look with longing
For the fruit that it will bear.
Walt Garlington is a chemical engineer turned writer (and, when able, a planter). He makes his home in Louisiana and is editor of the 'Confiteri: A Southern Perspective' web site.