I back into black and white
stand next to their largeness
on long ago wedding day
hear what they do not say.

Dad’s accordion gestures
scratchy fiddle
ruckus guitar
grandma’s washboard

join in catchy polka.
A dense circle
surrounds blizzard of couples—
submerged in thick harmonies.

They gyrate old country rhythms.
See, there’s Mom with Grandpa.
I touch undulating wedding veil.
Inhale jasmine from her curls.
Satin gown hikes up
hops like excited spring.
Her cherubic smile holds
patient yearnings
tangled stirrings.
Look, all around me
noisy ancestors—
handed a hard scrabble life
sweet and aching
now dead, now dust
I find Dad’s eyes
they yearn toward me

he sets down squeeze box
takes my wrist
draws me slowly
onto squeaky dance floor.