by Jen Hunt, from the archives
First line borrowed from Mary Herbert,
Countess of Pembroke, (1561-1621)
The Sidney Psalter, Psalm 139
O whither might I take my way,
Sophia, Maitre D, dark and deep-voiced,
Keeping to the shadows yet a lighthouse?
Point me through this frenzied, mirrored maze
This gold gilt factory of brides awaiting recess—
Chrome capstone to a Long Island love affair—
For I come from one wedding among seven
As one soul among millions
On the sixth of May
I find no rest-
Room sign to guide me to a private stall
Shell-shaped sinks and toilet guards elude me.
I stand white and tall in my sheath
As smooth, as stony, as singular
As a Grecian maiden balancing a birdbath--
But love is a two-columned wonder
Vowed Gebron the Prophet slipped
Within the Book of Common Prayer this morning!
Who will guide me, for a fee
A matron of honor forgetting my way
Down a hall I’ve never seen?
Ah, how foolish!
I have been there once before,
Before the photographer snapped
His fill and filled his wallet,
When I, clutching the bride’s shear train, kept it from
Snagging on the carpet and sagging in the john.
There, before the band cooed through electric air
“I Only Want to Be with You” to the dancing pair
While a winding rope of dancing worshippers
Replied “And you! And you! And you!”—
Those who had mouthed the morning’s prayers
Together with those who slept in
Sophia bids me, “Go next door and sip white zinfandel.
For there is no pink lemonade here.”
But when I have drunk my fill and have
The urge to go, I must stay in my sheath.
For if I switched to blue overalls and sandaled my feet
The restroom doors would surely close
In this mirrored world where ladies’ rooms bar ladies
And serve wenches.
I sure was in a cynical mood when I wrote this one. It is not meant to tarnish the event where the inspiration for it occured, let the bride understand.