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Here Comes the Bride

By Jeffrey Miller

At 35,000 feet over the Rockies my princess bride from Lodi
rings the flight attendant for another Jack and Coke.
Her third since we left LAX; not counting two at the lounge
screwing up her courage when she meets mom at the other end.

We met last month at an off-the strip Vegas blackjack table.
I liked how she curled her tongue before she threw down
or flipped her blonde hair back when she won another hand.
Two days later, we did it at the Silver Bell Wedding Chapel.

She’s been chatting up the beet-faced lawyer in K35—
Passes on the in-flight meal, matching him drink to drink.
She throws up twice before the plane reaches O’Hare.
It’s nerves I tell the man who gives me him business card.

Mom’s in no better shape waiting for us with her boyfriend.
Sloppy introductions offered all around; dinner is suggested.
My wife kicks off her high heels and walks ahead barefoot.
I can already hear my mother’s acerbic lecture inside my head.

Dinner is forced and mechanical but with plenty of lubrication
The ride home is equally painful and uneventful until my mom
drives up on the front lawn and over the landlady’s rose bushes.
Only my pride is bruised when my wife falls out of the car.

Helping my wife to her feet as neighbors point and stare
I’ll carry her across the threshold and do some damage control.
Three hours later, while she’s sleeping it off, I plead my case,
but all mom can say is, “she’s not pregnant is she?”

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