My Daughter’s Wedding Day
I guess I should have known,
Being teens in the late 60s and all.
Change. Rebellion. Moving forward.
Leaving the cozy nest.
Yet there’s irony in this story.
This isn’t what I wanted for her,
Getting married this young.
She hasn’t finished college yet.
Only 20 years old. I was 26,
Practically an old maid during the war days.
My daughter was supposed to be something,
Far before I was. She had that chance.
Now, I’m afraid she’ll just be John’s wife.
But she looks happy.
Maybe I should focus on her smile,
Eyes squinting because her smile is so big.
John is wide-eyed, sometimes so quiet,
But with a writer’s soul. Smile wide.
Her dress is too short. She wanted to change
Out of her fancy dress. That’s fine.
But her dress shows too much leg.
Confetti flies . They look like kids in a candy store,
Trying to decide what sweetness to enjoy first.
I wonder if they know that marriage is more like
An ocean than a lake, some days calm and serene,
Other days rough, when the tide and the wind roll in.
They’re so young. They’ve lived so little. I hope
The rough tide doesn’t knock them over,
Crashing salt and sand into their child-like wide eyes.
But maybe it’ll be different. Maybe they’ll
Have a rolling river and not a rough ocean
On a stormy day, like Jack and I did.
How funny, my daughter married a John,
Her father was also John. I wish he was here,
But I believe he was watching. Maybe she married young
As a way of bringing her dad back, at least a younger,
Blonder version of her dad. Same creativity, same
Writer’s soul, only quieter. Maybe his silence
Will be a springboard for her words. She
Likes to say them and to write them. Maybe
That’s why they work. They both love words.
One loves to speak and write them, the other,
To write and to ponder them.
I hope they have calm days lying in the sunny sand,
Long before the crashing waves hit.
Forgiving is not forgetting. It’s simply moving on.
It’s knowing that while you drive on a mountain,
It’s not always safe to turn around and go back.
You have to keep driving, until you get to the top,
Or at least to a roundabout, especially late at night
While it’s raining. It’s been a rainy night for a while,
Now the sun is shining, the sky is clearing.
I can see my journey better now. I had
A destination in mind, so I drove too fast.
You weren’t a very good navigator,
But you haven’t driven down this road
Many times either. I forgive you.
Next time, I should bring a map
And written directions, so even if I can’t see
Clearly, I’ll have back up directions.
The road to true love is sometimes the most
Winding, most rocky road it is.
I wish it had been simple. I look at Mom and
Dad’s wedding photo from the early 70s and wonder,
It happened sooner for them, why later for me?
Sometimes, it doesn’t seen fair, but Mom has told
Me since I was five that life isn’t always fair.
I’ve had many great road trips in my life.
The one to love has just been especially rough.
But maybe, when I get to the destination,
I’ll realize what the journey meant, how it helped me
Grow, how I had to drive the winding road to learn
Who I really am.