The Bridesmaid, Robert Sieczkiewicz
You now a bridesmaid, soon to be the bride.
Eyes piercing beyond the present moment,
Cannot see that we shall be side by side,
As I on one knee propose engagement.
Your next pass will be the last, number nine.
Cease your stare and look across for I’m here.
A heart that has yearn to have you as mine.
It is faith that brings us near, have no fear.
Finally our eyes join, the truth confirmed.
Knees unsteady to you I venture near.
Starting a tomorrow that was once dreamed,
With hand extended to you with some fear.
Heart did smile at your acceptance to dance,
As your eyes glitter a sign of romance.
John Everett Millais did this painting at the tender age of 21. Like most men of that age he had love, sex and possibly marriage on his mind. I wrote the poem as if Millais was the speaker. He understands that she is in a virtual trance as she counts the number of times she passes the piece of wedding cake through the bride’s wedding ring. It is folk lore that in passing that piece of cake through the ring nine times she would get a vision of her true love. The speaker isn’t taking any changes. He is counting with her. And at nine he will jump into the scene.
There is much more about the possibility of religious symbols as well as a phallic symbols in the painting. There is even questioning if this is a reflection of her in a mirror or if she exists at all. I chose an upbeat road on this. And, the model, yes it is Elizabeth Siddal. We could spend months on her life.