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