What the Bride Wore

Kendra Stanton Lee

Photo by Natasha Fernandez from Pexels
He is bald now, clean shaven over
all, sobriety favors him, sobriety 
doesn’t play favorites.
Play that one again,
Is he bumming bus fare, 
Is he lost, cuffed, unkempt, unconscious
The Greatest Hits
Pacing the widow’s walk, a re-recording.
Play: Is he waiting for the bus?
Is he is spending it on a ride that ends 
where it began?
 
Further back, back of the bus,
(bad kids pile into the back seat), 
Lunging then slouching back 
to the lies reeling off tongue. 
Of course he was riding that bus round
trip.
 
What is the cost of bus fare?
Deposit coins, turn toward fragile
hope, count the bumps,
curbs hopped, brain sloshing, mouth hiccuping, 
all the way home.
Through the portal I can peek, ruddy face
sobriety embraces him, I want to
embrace him, too, but I hold watch 
lighthouse beaming, spotting a 
storm-tossed vessel.
 
He got married, gleaming groom, his
bride wore black and white polka-dots, 
perfectly attired, all of our purity
as little portholes,
round white peeks at fragile hope
doing their damndest to
poke through the
long dark night.

Kendra Stanton Lee is a freelance writer in Boston where she lives at a boarding academy with her therapist husband and their two spirited children. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Romper, the Boston Globe, and others.