The players who have brought you to this stage,
your father who would be king,
willfully absent, refusing a smaller part,
the friend so afraid of a slip she forgot the starched hoop
that held your dress out, and your supporting cast,
bearing your wildly waving undergarment in,
white flag for a celebration, recede now,
watch from the wings of your wedding.

Paid for by blood, this rite my father promised you
runs lavender in your maid of honor’s gown,
red in the wine. You pass in white,
intone your vows. I think of oaths,
stay silent.

Service done.

With three—your brother, sister, you—
before a belled and flowered
three-tiered wedding cake,
shadows fade in folds of watered silk,
the wounds I have worn like rags fall.

Daughter, princess from the day you came,
may your life be a piece of cake,
may all your slips be smoothed.
May the Lord lift up his countenance
and see you dancing, your groom
waltzing you round and around again,
your skirt swinging like a bell,
the clapper of your bent knees
approving this step.