The sisters whirl in on a soft spring breeze,
peck my cheek like busy birds, spill their
loads onto the polished dining room tabletop.
The bride enters hididng her thoughts of another.
Granddaughters grin, turn toward the toy closet.
But going right to work, my daughters conspire
in whispery buzzes, pull down the Christmas
wreath, haul out my stashed china, crystal and
monogrammed silver to set upon alace cloth as
the bride makes her choices, ignores her inner voices.
Clambering onto the tabletop, the tallest daughter
tapes crepe streamers above the chandelier while
another scurries outside, raiding magnolia trees for
a centerpiece to match the paper napkins. Chairs
are pushed into an intimate circle in the cavernous
living room, sisters tugging the bride into our midst,
unaware she is dragging her feet.
A final flury of pulling on pastel skirts and borrowed
silk stockings rreadies three generations of females
preening like Degas' dancers as the doorbell chimes
its announcement our party is beginning. In the back
of her mind recline the bride's grave misgivings.
first published in The Rockford Review
©2019 Bonnie Manion