Sunday, January 11, 2009

For the Rusty Scupper

My littlest sister got married this weekend to a wonderful man and the wedding was full of high points, among them:

1. My middle sister's graceful, professional, and loving job presiding over the ceremony.
2. Five cousins starring as flower girls and ring bearers. Despite early threats to not wear certain dresses and refusal to carry flowers, generally hitting it out of the park. My youngest daughter peering up at a bridesmaid mid-ceremony and asking, "Are you going to a wedding today?"
3. My father delivering his welcome address to the guests in French in honor of the groom's Belgian family. He practiced for days speaking a language he has never actually learned.
4. The cousins playing racecars on the dance floor while dinner was served.
5. My girls dancing with the crowd for hours, busting twirls and knee slides a la AC/DC.
6. My newest brother-in-law delivering a moving speech and great toasts from his brothers and several of the couple's friends.
7. A gorgeous moon rising over the bay as the sun set.

I was invited to read a poem in the ceremony and chose one of my favorites from French surrealist poet Paul Eluard. The groom's cousin read the original poem in French, followed by my reading of the English translation which I further doctored to include details of my sister and her groom's lives together (rather shamelessly, I've ripped this guy off before in honor of my husband).

I Love You (January 10, 2009)

I love you for all the places we haven’t been
I love you for all the times we’re not alone
For the scent of Thai food and the smell of rosemary garlic bread
For the Rusty Scupper and for the first and the only
For paintings waiting to be conceived
I love you to be
I love you for you

Who calms me if not you yourself-I soothe myself so little
Without you I see nothing but an empty entryway
Between those long distance phone calls and today
There have been all those slow dances
I have not been able to cross the threshold of my fears
I’ve had to learn life step by step
How one discovers

I love you for all the mornings, which are ours
For truth
I love you against everything that is only maybe
For your spirit, which is yours alone
You believe that you are now but you’re just always
You are my dawn and my sunset at the peak
When I lift my head to see

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