Dancing at Your Wedding

by Fleda Brown
Brown. No Need of Sympathy. Dancing at Your Wedding
I wish I hadn't danced like that, undignified, wild, but consider your groom's family, full press of uncles, aunts, parents, generations of sticking together, then your own scattered mess of faithlessness, and there you are, father on one arm, me on your other, two captive animals lured to the same pen. There I am on the old VCR tape, flouncing, you could say that, into the reception with my new man, your ex-stepfather crazily lurking in the background. I'm wearing the filmy, matronly mother-of-the bride-thing, grief and joy thrashing in me like sumo wrestlers. There we are, all layers of time licensed to be here, and I am the smoke of the speed of the rewind, in my smoky blue dress among the calla lilies and candles, and you a grand beaded snowy island, a bell-voice at the microphone, thanking us all, in general, and then I'm dancing and dancing, stricken and turning, turning my eyes. Imagine if Hades followed Persephone back into spring and summer, not speaking, sitting at a side table fingering the stem of his glass, cupping its bowl, smiling with his white teeth! Imagine if Rousseau got up to speak of the goodness of the human heart, and yours still bloody, the sweet smell of a gardenia loud as a band playing just under your chin.