Emily Gilsrud: 2019 ND Poetry Out Loud State Champion “Megan Married Herself”


– She arrived at the country
mansion in a silver limousine. She’d sent out invitations
and everything. My poem was ‘Megan Married
Herself’, by Caroline Bird, and this poem was about a
lady that marries herself and having this whole
elaborate wedding. And then at the end of the
poem there’s this guy named Derek that had before asked
himself if he would marry him. And he didn’t take
the offer at the time, but after going to the wedding, he’s like, “I wish I
would have done that”. I love making people laugh and when I’m doing
theater and stuff, my favorite characters have
always been the funny ones, so it was so fun
doing this poem. ‘Meghan Married Herself’,
by Caroline Bird She arrived at the country
mansion in a silver limousine. She’d sent out invitations
and everything. Her name written twice, with
ampersand in the middle. The calligraphy of coupling. She strode down the aisle
to ‘At Last’, by Etta James. Faced the celebrants
like a keen soldier, reporting for duty. Her voice shaky, yet sure. “I do.” “I do.” You may now kiss the mirror. Applause, confetti. Every single one
of the 140 guests deemed the service unimprovable. Especially the vows. So, from the heart. Her wedding gown was
ivory, pointedly off-white. “After all, we’ve shared
a bed for 32 years”, she quipped in her first speech, “and hardly virginal, if
you know what I mean.” No one knew exactly
what she meant. Not a soul questioned
their devotion. You only had to look at them, hand cupped in hand, smiling out of the same eyes. You could sense their
secret language, bone deep, blended blood. Toasts were frequent, tearful. One guest eyed his wife,
hovering harmlessly at the bar, and imagined what his
life might have been if he’d responded years ago
to that offer in his head. I’m the only one who will
ever truly understand you. Marry me, Derek, I love you. Marry me. At the time he hadn’t taken
his proposal seriously. He recharged his
champagne flute, watched the newlywed cut
her five-tiered cake, both hands on the knife. “Is it too late for us to try?” Derek whispered to no one. As the bride glided herself
onto the dance floor, taking turns first
to lead, then follow. (gentle music) – [Announcer] Funded by
the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the North
Dakota Humanities Council, and by the members
of Prairie Public.

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