Sit in the sun surrounded by love,
head heavy as a peony,
a blessing of petals swaying it toward prayer.
Listen, eyes closed, to the hum of guests,
of bees, dusting dance of pollen
visited on others in a fertile chain.
Mistress, this joy is from you,
brushing, as we do, your palms, your face,
entering the faith you’re making real.
Citadels you’ve taken with your hope
harbor tired refugees,
enemies of war divorced and tender in our flight.
Inspire us. Share your rings.
Lead your husband toward the band,
every step declaring peace.
Clasp him in your arms,
holding his gaze, accord
level as a field where nothing is submerged.
Eat cake as the communion that it is,
votive offering, potential to love mindfully
and well. We are bruised.
Help us bite gently from each other’s hands,
brother speaking kindnesses to brother,
every glass lifted to a common, needful praise.
After the toasts, throw us your bouquet,
reminder we are chosen,
marked for high regard that calls us by our names.
Even your garter is a quiet glimpse, a knowing
nod to armistice, the intimate, the delicate
occasion of our joining, our guard at last let down.
Value yourself, the risk you undertake,
the symbol you become.
As hardened as we are, we need your blush,
your fire, our pillar in the night.
If we make too much of your small day, forgive us.
Children trust the sun, haunted by its cooling,
honored by its light.
Kiln-fired hopes still shatter
easily enough. She lives in the city,
cultivating orchards in her mind,
harrowing the rows, tending to her
once-dreamed apple farm.
Long homestead evenings,
emptying cider from the press,
melt of winters lavish
in the ground, restoring health,
mending what the cold had slowed.
Kintsukuroi, she says, golden repair.
Every fracture part of history, rich
composite of lacquer and gold
healing in the cracks.
Our dreams are open veins,
land ready for the seed,
emerging finally in
in fruit as sweet as laughter, as
men’s songs who now live free.