Best man’s arm in a cast,
“dumbshit” in blue ink as big as a freeway sign.

Earlier, with my buddies,
smoking in a vestibule,
shooing away a kid in a smock,
my car keys hot in my pants.

Really, the only chance you’re ever given
to just go for the two lane.
A done deal after the vows, the holy consecration,
the smoked salmon, the dollar dances.

Judith’s family fills her side and some of mine.
My grandmother in the front by herself,
long widowed, flowing white hair
like a 40s movie star.

The minister reading a mimeographed sheet
stuck in the middle of Deuteronomy.
Judith at my side, her arm through mine.
I see the painted glass behind the minister’s head still.

Where would I have gone?
No road was long enough.
I stood still that day.
It was the bravest thing I’d ever done.

Pfefferle, W.T. The Meager Life and Modest Times of Pop Thorndale. Rochester Hills (MI): NFSPS Press, 2007.