Double Wedding Vow by Freeda Baker Nichols

rose budDouble Wedding Vow

 When Aunt Miranda married Jim
she said to him
the wedding vow
two times, somehow.
When Uncle Jimmy said, “I do,”
she said it, too.
“Oh, never mind,”
the preacher whined,
then he pronounced them man and wife.
Throughout his life,
will Jim recall
his vow at all?

© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols


English: Oyamada train station in Hanamaki, Iw...

The Ozark Bathhouse, along Hot Springs' famed ...

She slipped off her wedding dress,
tossed aside her engagement ring,
headed south in a Mustang
to the city of Hot Springs.

She checked into the cabin
last night at nearly ten,
close to the magnificent
Garden of the Pine Wind.

She had waited at the altar
for a groom who never showed.
Her tears barely slacked enough
for her to see the road.

Yet, she determined she would
make the best of this.
She swiped her hand across her lips
and wiped away his kiss.

She cried herself to sleep
in the room for only one–
this morning saw the sunshine
in a new day just begun.

Today, she’ll see the springs
where Native Americans ceased
many battles by the mystic waters
and reconciled in peace.

She’ll wonder about De Soto
who also stopped to drink
the warm and healing waters
filled to his canteen’s brink.

She’ll bet most of her money
on thoroughbreds at the track
and forget she ever knew
that handsome Bobby Jack.

Although her heart is breaking,
she’ll never let him know.
She’ll light her own peace pipe
down on Bathhouse Row.

She’ll board a plane
as soon as it is night.
She’ll cry herself to sleep
on an international flight.

And if Bobby tries to find her,
she knows he never can
there in Hot Springs’ Sister City,
Hanamaki, Japan.
© 2013 Freeda Baker Nichols

A Native American peace pipe. From an exhibiti...

Grand Champion Prize -Day 19- NaPoWriMo

wedding ring quilt

wedding ring quilt (Photo credit: pinprick)

English: Wedding rings Português: Anéis de Noi...

I quilted a quilt for the fair
made every stitch by hand
but I didn’t win a blue ribbon
as I had so carefully planned.

They placed a white ribbon on it
and called it a third place prize.
The pattern was a wedding ring
of many colors in king size.

“Beautiful,” my granddaughter said.
“I’ll save it for my wedding day.”
She pinned a blue ribbon upon it
and carefully packed it away.

Last week at her garden wedding,
a hot sun caused roses to wilt.
But hanging there by the roses
was my king size, blue-ribbon quilt!

Copyright 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Church Bells

church bells ringing
announcing her wedding
on June twenty-fourth–
seated on the back pew
he wishes her happiness


c Copyright 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols

Callipe, Winter 2010

Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas Anthology, 2010-2011

This poem, a tanka, is considered a mood piece. Here, the moods I find  are happiness for one person, sadness for another. Writing tanka, the poet needs to use strong images and may use poetic devices such as metaphor and personification.



I Should Have Been a June Bride

I should have been a June bride, but circumstances beyond my control caused my wedding date to be changed from June to October — my favorite month of the year.  I chose a Saturday for the wedding, the 24th day of the month — one month following my 19th birthday.  Back in those days, couples in love got married.

Marriage seemed the right thing at the time and in the years since then, I’ve discovered that it was  not only a good decision, it has proved to be a happy experience–one with no space for dull moments.

On the eve of our most recent anniversary, the second of our four children–all of whom are grown-up now–telephoned to wish her father and me a happy anniversary.  “I’m proud of you for being married so long,” she commended.  “Not everyone can say that to their parents.”

Her attitude interested me.  How could I tell her that I owe the secret of my marital success to her father’s helpful, willing ways?  For example, during disagreements, when I have threatened to move out, he has always agreed to help me pack my belongings.

Not only that, when I relayed her message to him, he smiled and said that actually he deserved hazardous duty pay.

He’s retired from the Air Force; he served in the Viet Nam War from a relatively safe distance — the Philippine Islands.  And I have never hurled anything at him heavier than a few words, but –some of them were possibly dagger sharp.

Most of my words receive little attention from my husband, like those in poems and stories which I hope will be published.

I tried once to get him to read one of my poems.  I chose the wrong time; he was on his way out the door to repair one of our two vehicles, which if one doesn’t need repair, the other does.

“Would you like to read my poem?” I stammered, in my eagerness to share with him, then quickly added, “It’s about love!”

He gave me a disinterested look.

“You know how I’m always falling in love with you — again and again?” I asked.

He  grunted an acknowledgement.

“Well, I’ve written a poem about that. Would you like to read it?”

He took a deep breath.  “How long is it?” he asked, his tone of voice  sounding  like  a busy editor swamped with a packet of poems.

“Never mind,” I said, and placed the poem in my files.

Whether or not that poem gets published is anybody’s guess.  But I decided then to send my precious poems to editors first and let others read them published.

I can only wonder if my marriage might have been more exciting had I been a June bride.  But I doubt it!

c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols


From my files — a poem in rhyme

This poem is a Rondel. The 14th century French form was given the fourteen lines on two rhymes by Charles d’Orleans.The first two lines are repeated in the seventh and eighth, and again in the final couplet.

             Unwelcome Wedding Guest

My veil was on my head awhile ago.
     I had it fastened there with ribbon tied.
     I braved the weather to become a bride.
I said my vows.  The wind began to blow.
It whipped about and then untied  the bow,
     and whisked my veil away like angry tide.
My veil was on my head awhile ago.
     I had it fastened there with ribbon tied.

That thief, the wind! Oh, that is why I cried.
     Some thought I cried because a gal named Flo
     rushed up to give a goodbye kiss to Clyde.
I turned insanely jealous, I confide.
My veil was on my head awhile ago.
     I had it fastened there with ribbon tied.

c Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols