The willow is simply a magnificent tree,
hang on, I don?t want to make this too elegant, too terse,
but then again, I don?t think I can resist the opportunity,
so can you stand just a little more of Jesson verse?
Now, I?m sure I?ll come back to the willow later,
and what I say then, might touch your heart,
but before we get to that, I?ve some thoughts,
now, where on Earth can I possibly start?
I guess I?ll start at the very beginning,
because Mum, you?ve always been there for me,
and I just wanted to say thank you, I love you very much,
you?ve made my world a better place to be.
Now, of course, I must mention my two brothers,
don?t worry, I haven?t forgotten you Jill, I mean wife,
but Ian and Paul, traditionally, you?ve been the best men today,
and just for the record, you?ve been the best men in my life.
Now, I?ve always known Jill to be a remarkable woman,
but she?s put this wedding together, without a pause,
so, ladies and gentlemen, I?m sure you?ll agree with me,
she deserves a massive, heartfelt round of applause.
But I also know she?s had a team of miracle workers,
and in truth, there?s just too many to individually list,
just know that there?s not one thought, gesture or action,
well, just know that there?s not one that?s been missed.
And I know that today wouldn?t have happened without you,
and I think those are words that everybody understands,
so, miracle workers, I?d like to applaud you,
once again, please put together those grateful hands.
I?d also like to thank my wider family,
and from today, that number has officially grown,
just know that you all have a special place in my heart,
I?m very grateful for all the love that you?ve shown.
Of course, I must make special mention of Norman,
as he?s only a dozen short of the magical ton,
and I think, from today, I?ll follow a family tradition,
from today, I?ll call you Dad (and you can call me son).
There?s another group of people that I must mention,
that?s certainly before these lines come to their ends,
because I know that genuine friendship is so rare, so fragile,
but it?s really, really nice to be surrounded by so many friends.
I started this story talking about the wonderful willow,
because it has a remarkable character, that?s what I?ve found,
it has an innate, magnificent will to thrive and strive,
even when lightning brings it crashing to the ground.
And just to share a piece of new found wisdom,
this species of willow is actually called ?crack?,
and although it?ll bend and sway in the breeze,
untold pressure will eventually break it?s back.
But you can even strip it bare, string it up,
it?s versatile, and it can still make quite a handy bat,
you can even move it across the garden (and watch it grow),
but I?m sorry, it?s not quite as simple as that.
Because that willow, my friends, represents “me”,
I always had the will, but my esteem was so low,
I always knew that I had this passion inside of me,
but I just didn?t have the right garden in which to grow.
That was until I reconnected with Jill,
28 years later, we still found we had the spark,
and where once there was desert, there was new growth,
and a truly beautiful light filled my lonely dark.
So Jill, my wife, I just wanted to say thank you,
I?m so glad that it?s you that I finally got to choose,
because without love, you really have nothing at all,
and every poet needs his inspiration, his muse.
So, my darling, beautiful, talented, magical wife,
but then again, I?ve always known you as my Jilly Jay.
just know that I?ll love you tomorrow, I?ll love you forever,
and that, I couldn?t be any prouder, on this, our wedding day,
Copyright Allen Jesson :o) 2005
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