Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

March 1969

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

March 1969

Article excerpt

Seated in the pews the best man whose arms draped the groom's shoulders

Passed a flask of hundred-proof grain from inside his tuxedo pocket

A mother fondled her fake pearls, walked the aisles trying to find a soloist

Asked the guests: Who can sing His Eyes Are On the Sparrow? Amazing

Grace?

Across town

On Hanover Street, in the YWCA's bathroom, a woman in lace

Huddled on the floor of an end stall; she heard the lobby phone

Ring incessantly; the receptionist on the intercom trumpeted her name

She balled up wads of Angel Soft around her hand, blew her nose;

Reapplied Maybelline every hour or so just in case the pressure of

Gowns, maids, her mother's second mortgage, florists, soloists

My sister's twitch

Forced her hand

At 3:15, three hours late

She lifted her head off the toilet seat, called a yellow taxi to pick her up

While she waited one of the homeless women touched her shoulder:

It's better for the baby, honey

Once she arrived at church, she tripped walking down the altar

Busted her knee wide open, bled through her stockings, her garter

Her groom, many swigs in, balanced by his best men, hunched over

Her mother, at the ready, ran and lifted her daughter so odd voyeurs

Could witness a bride settle

Her lean dowry

[Author Affiliation]

Airea D. …

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