Saturday, September 26, 2015
I Think I'd Have to Agree...
Poem Not to be Read at Your Wedding
by Beth Ann Fennelly
You ask me for a poem about love
in lieu of a wedding present, trying to save me
money. For three nights I've lain under
glow-in-the-dark stars I've stuck to the ceiling
over my bed. I've listened to the songs
of the galaxy. Well Carmen, I would rather
give you your third set of steak knives
than tell you what I know. Let me find you
some other store-bought present. Don't
make me warn you of stars, how they see us
from that distance as miniature and breakable,
from the bride who tops the wedding cake
to the Mary on Pinto dashboards
holding her ripe red heart in her hands.
I once glued those same, cheap plastic neon stars to my ceiling. I thought it might help me sleep, at night, to lie awake and count the stars. I love stars...I love the sky...and what better way to see it from the veil of your blanketed bed mid-winter than to create your own? I remember how, one by one, they began to fall from the ceiling. My false sky unglued itself. Intermittently I'd find those stars, always a different size each time, floating amidst my sea of blankets. And I don't think I ever remembered to wish upon even one.
I guess, in a way, what I'm saying is that I agree with this poem wholeheartedly. Nothing I have to say of love is wedding-speech worthy. Weddings are big white-washed dreams...and so far as I've ever known, whitewash chips away like pieces of led paint...each little dent upon the facade of some life you've half-created just another drop of poison to remember when the complete foundation caves. And when natural disasters occur, I've never heard of someone fighting swift waters in rowboats to save wedding dresses...have you?
Makes you wonder what's real, and half-imagined, and only wishful thinking in this circus we call life. Weddings being the biggest kind of wish of all!