The tide had drawn the river out and made
their bridal bed immaculate.
Too late now to stop. Already
they had grown amphibious and entered
slithering and stripping off Age
after Age of formal wedding-dress
to reach their satin element of mud,
their skin a sheen of mud,
their belly mud on mud,
their pulse a simple wedding march of mud.
They were not seen again although it’s said
some early-morning fisherman dragged up
a tailcoat and a bridal train from the riverbed
but could not disentangle them and threw them back.