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Advice for the Penny Bride in Times of Economic Crisis

ISSUE:  Fall 2009


On her wedding day, a bride should slip a good penny into her shoe
to ensure luck and wealth during the life of her marriage.
Forget the old, the new, the borrowed, the blue.

Has brass or copper stained your finger a greenish hue?
Turn the penny into a gold ring. Layaway payments you can manage
after the wedding day. Good bride, slip a penny into your shoe

and the white dress is a matter of cents, the veil cut from raw tulle.
Turn the penny into a baby and borrow the baby’s carriage.
Forget the difference between old and new. Borrow the blue.

But the baby needs pink, the baby needs porridge. The baby needs shoes
and a crib and a story. All of these things you must forage.
These days a bride should slip a good penny into her shoe.

Come now: the guests are nodding. The church is speaking, saying I do.
Turn your face into a polished coin and spin in the air. Age
will forget what’s old, what’s new, the groom’s suit borrowed and blue.

The reverend prays for clean hands, pure hearts all over you.
The baby drums inside, turning your belly to language.
Today, you slipped a gold penny into your shoe.
Forget the old and new. This bride is borrowed. She is blue.


In Verse is supported by Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0, an initiative of AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio. This project is made possible with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by a broadcast partnership with Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen.


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