April 25, 2009

After Our Daughter's Wedding

After Our Daughter's Wedding by Ellen Bass
from Mules of Love

While the remnants of cake
and half-empty champagne glasses
lay on the lawn like sunbathers lingering
in the slanting light, we left the house guests
and drove to Antonelli's pond.
On a log by the bank I sat in my flowered dress and cried.
A lone fisherman drifted by, casting his ribbon of light.
"Do you feel like you've given her away?" you asked.
But no, it was that she made it
to here, that she didn't
drown in a well or die
of pneumonia or take the pills.
She wasn't crushed
under the mammoth wheels of a semi
on highway 17, wasn't found
lying in the alley
that night after rehearsal
when I got the time wrong.
It's animal. The egg
not eaten by a weasel. Turtles
crossing the beach, exposed
in the moonlight. And we
have so few to start with.
And that long gestation—
like carrying your soul out in front of you.
All those years of feeding
and watching. The vulnerable hollow
at the back of the neck. Never knowing
what could pick them off—a seagull
swooping down for a clam.
Our most basic imperative:
for them to survive.
And there's never been a moment
we could count on it.

Today is Carrie's and Ole's anniversary. After their wedding, Bob and I had such a let down, after all the months of hub-bub of wedding preparations. We were very lucky for several reasons, one was Carrie's choice of a husband; another was that Carrie did almost all of the work involved in the planning of her day. I was her back-up and Bob wrote the checks.

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  1. I know that feeling. When my daughters married, it was a sense of sadness and happiness all at the same time.

  2. Hi Mom! Sorry I didn't get back to you on Sat., we were out and about doing homework, soccer games and mexican food (yummy!) If I did it all over again I'd probably do everything the same... we got so lucky finding the dress off the rack (Jessica McClintock no less!) We were luckier than we ever knew having the wedding at the Rock Garden reserved on the weekend we got married... two more days and I might have exploded from the added stress rather than got married (as it was I had hives & an UTI.) But it all worked out, call it fate or luck, I was one lucky girl to have picked Ole and had parents like you & Dad. Thanks for everything!


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