One thousand one golden cranes

 

 

The yard is filled with table after wedding table,

women sitting in rows, talking lizards, flying shoes

and other women who have made them cry.

All called to witness

not just the woman and man under the chuppah

but all the threads that weave together

this gathering of differences.

 

There is soft light from a hiding sun

more than a baker’s dozen men in pants and grey,

stand waiting for the wind to carry

away memories brought for the forgetting

on one thousand one auspicious paper wings

whispering over chilled salmon, ripe fruit

suggesting the fertility of the afternoon.

 

In the summer fog, the smashing of the glass,

the melody of gongs rise like smoke hovering

atop the eucalyptus trees. My friend passes

me a plate saying too much,

I taste everything as though I’ve never eaten before

drink to wash down the flavor of ghosts

lingering in my mouth.

 

Men and womyn wash the hillside with laughter,

children create a world sucking flowers

wrestling as they peek at phantoms.

Smiling and kissing the lips of friends

I wind my way through the rejoicing

to the street where muffled echoes

fall on parked cars.

 

I lean on a shiny black fender, turn to watch

illusions pour from the afternoon garden

like gardenia scent wafting on the promise of romance.

Sharon Lopez Mooney, One thousand one golden cranes, from “The New England Monthly Poetry Digest”, ed. Christine Waterford, October 2021