On Her Wedding Day


We stand, enclosed within a sanctifying circle, redwoods
extending. The white pole of the chuppah steady in my hands,
dark blue ribbons fluttering from the lace canopy. She a fairy
dream in wedding white, auburn curls cascading, facing away, drowning
in his eyes. The rabbi’s voice rises and falls, and if
now and then a catch of breath interrupts, if salt water
gleams, we will forgive. She speaks, and weeps, for us all.
Do not think that this is grief. How could it be? For him, an
angel clearly walks the earth. He barely hears the rabbi’s words, a
‘yes’ hovering on his lips. He has lost himself in her. The
rabbi speaks the solemn Hebrew, pauses for a silly tale or two;
everyone laughs. Yet even this laughter is but another note of
joy; a rising crest, a wave that will not spare flowered maiden aunts
or cousins in dark suits. Quarrels silenced, hands clasped, perceived
injustice forgotten, lost in the gathered blessing. That the pair and their
children might live in love. Fervent wishes from rabbi and gathering,
in our best hearts. And if but a hundredth of the joy that shines
new-forged in his eyes survives this day, we need not worry; love so
grand will fill their lives, spilling out in a happy contagion.



M.A. Mohanraj
September 24, 1997
(for Kira and Sean, with love)