At my daughter’s wedding, we formed a chain to New York,
New York, her friends from college arm in arm with my ex-
mother-in-law who’s whooping it up—she loves Frank Sinatra—
and she’s holding hands with the bride, whose elbow hooks
into a bridesmaid’s—all four of them, in navy shantung,
have their arms around each other’s waists, a chorus
kick line, the groom’s sister also holding a bottle
of beer; my youngest daughter at the end, hair, a glory
of red ringlets, her arm’s around the bride’s half-sister,
who’s giggling In embarrassment, and she’s connected
to my childhood friend in a black sheath, who holds
onto the khaki sports coat of my writing friend’s husband,
the dentist, while His wife, in lilac, wraps her arm around
one of my neighbors, Who’s linked to a friend from college
in slinky silk slacks, and there, at the end, is my ex-
husband, the one who didn’t want to be married any more,
holding his soon-to-be-estranged second wife, the one
he left us for, at arm’s length. Start spreading
the news:
everyone I’ve ever loved is here today,
even the dead, raising a glass and dancing, circling
around the bride in her frothy gown, bubbles rising
in a fluted glass, spilling out, running over.

~Barbara Crooker

poems online



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