En route to a wedding reception,
my husband says, I think our wedding
could have been more serious.
I thought the same thing, listening
to their traditional vows, in sickness
and health, in good times and bad,
the bride and groom’s forty-something
faces heavy with the time it took
to find each other.
Just barely thirty,
we laughed through
our vows, like teenagers
at their prom.
The judge, not rabbi,
relayed stories we told him
about our relationship,
nachos eaten with knife and fork,
and how to get the last
Tic-Tac from the container
without slamming it on
the nearest hard surface.
Our vows consisted of promises
like sleeping by each other’s side
and laughing together.
We offered ourselves to each other
lightly as happy hour hors d’oeuvres.
I think about the vows
we’d make today
and wonder if a dead child
rests in the clause
until death do us part.
Chanel Brenner, Foliate Oak, May 2013.