Mother grips an orchid to her smallish purse
And lifts her face to the photographer
Who, like me, now stands and waits for Father
to rescue two exposed, embarrassed hands.
The photographer is blind to what he sees—
He hits the shutter: indifferent film will hold the scene together.
As for me, it is my conscious indiscretion to scrutinize the album page—
To startle lives among the ripple edges, beneath the shallow glaze.
The wedding is in June. They ask only that the camera should record
Their perfect bliss, the orchid, the flattery of clothes;
But beneath each pose, by birthright, I look in:
Mother is lost, unhappy, almost sorry and Father sees the tears to come.
The ones I saw, cascading into pot roasts, mashed potatoes, pooled on plates.