Years ago, I stood in the Museum of Art at Brigham Young University while Dr. Marian Wardle, then Curator of American Art, told of her grandmother Minerva Teichert’s unexpected and beautiful wedding dress. Teichert was both a great American artist and a great Latter-day Saint artist. After hearing Marian’s story, I wrote this poem.
Her Grandmother’s Wedding Dress
for Minerva Teichert and Marian Wardle
She could have worn pure white, or proper black,
Kept her eyes fastened to the near distance
On his eyes gazing back. Their vows would lead
To burdens trivial and burdens deep.
She’d not forgotten that; she’d seen her days
As they stepped out in front of her.
But she raised her eyes to the far distance,
A vision of unexpected loveliness.
And so they all remembered, as he fit the gold band
On her finger, fit her hand to his,
That she, unexpected, married in a sky-blue dress
With red birds wheeling, promising surprises.
Her granddaughter begged her to tell the promises.
She honored them with careful blue skies
And benevolent clouds like hovering doves,
Surprises of red among the muted tones,
And, having raised her eyes to eternity,
A vision of Christ, triumphant, in red robes.
Lisa Bolin Hawkins
If you would like to know more about Minerva Teichert, consider reading Jan Underwood Pinborough’s article, “Minerva Kohlhepp Teichert: With a Bold Brush,” Ensign, April 1989, https://www.lds.org/study/ensign/1989/04/minerva-kohlhepp-teichert-with-a-bold-brush?lang=eng