When I was writing my third novel, Wedding at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, I pictured a scene in which one of my favorite characters, Martha Murray, would recite, or have another character recite, a poem she’d written for her wedding ceremony. For several weeks I wrangled with writing a poem for Martha but nothing felt right. I was pulling my hair out and getting nowhere.
Then one afternoon my lovely friend and trusted confidant, Flora Diehl, called to visit and during the course of that call I said something like, “Maybe you could write Martha’s poem.”
I’m not sure what prompted me to say that. It wasn’t premeditated, it just popped into my head and immediately came out of my mouth. Regardless, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Flo thought about it and responded several days, maybe weeks, later with the perfect poem for Martha’s wedding. I cried the first time I read her poem, “Now,” and every time I read it I get teary-eyed. Flo perfectly captured what I wanted Martha’s poem to feel and sound and even look like.
I’m not printing it here. Maybe one day I will, but I feel like the poem fits best within the context of the whole story. There are also a few gentle spoilers embedded in Flo’s contribution to my tale, and we’d hate to give anything away.
Readers can find the poem “Now” on page 302 of the paperback and again after “The End,” but before the acknowledgements. In the e-reader version it’s anyone’s guess since font size matters you know, but it’s near the end of the book.
If you haven’t yet read the first book in the series, Mayhem at Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort, I suggest you do so before reading Wedding, but I think there’s enough backstory in book two that one wouldn’t necessarily have to read book one. (Although that would make me happy…)
Due to COVID, I haven’t seen Flo in person in over two years, but when I do see her again I’m going to ask her to read the poem while we enjoy a glass of wine. I’m stocking up on Kleenex for the occasion.