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The 50th Anniversary of Our Wedding Photo
 
The grandchildren ask who these people are
The bride is your grandmother I explain
And she is luminous as one would expect but
so am I standing next to her due in part
to a very hot afternoon with no air conditioning
 
My brideís long gown is of a type in fashion
the train circling at her feet her long hair curled
fashionably at the sides make up subtle
but flattering her veil falling behind
as I must have lifted it during the ceremony
all that white claiming attention against the deep
purple curtain behind us and the purple-hung
alter rails and the dark-wood paneling with two
brass candelabras on either side holding
arrangements of flowers the long white tapers lit
 
And the photographer has placed my bride
in the exact center with me in a rented
ŗ la mode Edwardian tux tucked behind
as it should be since this was her day
the one she dreamed of and prepared for
and despite my broad smile
a day I obediently endured as I recall
for the sake of tradition seeing beyond
this day with a too vivid prescience
 
And though I am a minor figure
in this memento of a watershed day in our lives
my hair deserves some explanation in that
it prompts me to reflect on my motherís last
parental act as she had talked me into letting her
cut my long blonde hair a few days before
the wedding which disappointed this woman
smiling next to me but with all the complications
of the wedding and her love for me of course
she did not harp and I donít think my mother
liked my hair even after the haircut as she
had read in the Scriptures that it is a shame
for a man to have long hair and it was
still over my ears if not now looking more like
a page boy from a 60s ladies fashion magazine

Mark Rhoads

 
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Mark Rhoads would be pleased to hear them.


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