021.2: John Gallaher:: Cake for the Groom:: Part II 021

"This’s the way things like this occur,/which’s why I started hoarding after-dinner mints. It’s a fateful move,/as always, I guess." John Gallaher

Cake for the Groom:: Part II

It’s Everywhere You Want to Be!

We were more interested in fantasy novels for children
in those years, as we were children. And the plastic arts
didn’t do anyone much good either,
up there on the top tier. “Look,
by the time you’re thirty, you’re already dehydrated,”
they say. And look at me. Better yet,
look around, they have signs posted. They say things like In the Fun Room, after a

and Floating Objectives. I’d go there. I like titles,
such as ceramic guestbook platters and wedding
watercolors. Also specializing in sewn-to-order ring bearer pillows,
flower girl baskets, and accessories. There’s a difference to each one,
of course. You don’t get to just be, something has to happen,
which seems to be reason enough for most things
to happen. Tonight the president will be making a speech,
for instance. So we installed lots of practical storage:
wall shelving, a rail system, and a cabinet for the TV. And we replaced the shutters
with our translucent white shower curtain. There’s not much use
going back, the bride said, trying to remember that song we sang to her
that night so long ago. But the nostalgic tradition
of wedding cake charms and ribbon pulling ceremony
is making a comeback anyway. The music swelled, the clouds . . . A mix of large
and small photo frames can work just as well,
and it makes something of a bold statement, half back in your life,
where things always look a bit better.

This’s the way things like this occur,
which’s why I started hoarding after-dinner mints. It’s a fateful move,
as always, I guess. And all those old songs. I wish we
could sing one now, as the live band is starting up
Postlude to America. But then you can’t get it out of your head,
and where does that leave you? Passing by open windows,
perhaps? Perhaps marching? Watching them out there with the cart,
hauling stones? So was it a factory? An orphanage? The day’s
the day. And we break eggs
to make things out of them. But sometimes we’re more private than that,
especially since the hedge crisis. Which’s by no means
a complete selection of our neighborhood endeavors. A fine thing,
we thought, as the monkey falls, but doesn’t fall far,
from the tree. And the chicken’s trying for the fence again. . . .
But that’s just slang. “Much more could be said,” the bride says,
“but we’ve so little time,” as the usher’s waving,
and the organ’s piping up. On the other hand, talk’s cheap, why not
do something? The miniature bells, for instance,
as I’m working with my source material exceptionally well
these days. And sometimes, later, our downward spiral
into nametags and chiffon. Nametags let you know
for whom you’re clapping. In this way
we know who’s running down the hall as they’re throwing rice.

All they’re interested in these days is forgiveness,
can you imagine that? We were all in love back then. And lately,
I’ve been trying to make myself visible,
and can report only relative success. It’s good to be out, though,
the relatives say. The sunshine and airplanes. And western themes
appear frequently here, while others don’t.
Not necessarily in that order, either,
as some are named and followed in greater detail. What of the virgin,
for instance? And how goes the mother figure?
As Dad reminds us, they add flair
to any social occasion. So what if we all turn into rocks,
with help from the exotic dancer and the prosecuting attorney?

Amazed whispers begin circling the reception hall.
Rosie’s walking under a big hat.
We’re splashing around a bit in the punch bowl.