Newark Penn Station, looking like it might contain Francie Puccio's journeys.

We’d intended to offer the second poem that Carol Muske-Dukes has given us from her startlingly sublime “Twin Cities” this week.  Instead, we are saving that for next week and, since we are spotlighting weddings this month, are offering a wedding poem from Francie Puccio.

Ms. Puccio was born in Newark, N.J., and takes that city as inspiration for many of her poems. She is working on a collection titled “Down Neck,” a meditation on what she terms “the clattering train of the future that can be heard if you put your head to the rail at any point in the past.”

 

 

Italian Wedding, 1954

The wipers can’t keep up.  I’m relying on

intuition and experience in place of vision

and listening to what the rain is playing

over the radioed jazz about to fade.

Sounds broadcast from the past: Coins tossed

against a barn far from home.  High school

drill team practice.  Rice thrown at the cousin

who married young.  This rice rain taps me back

to the scene:  the gown pearled white as blindness

puffing into the limousine ahead of the groom.

They drive away and, in front of the church, the girl

I was watches and begins her education in marriage.

In the frame of the back window, sweethearts

together, smiling out– he waving the cheap

bubbly, she brandishing a bouquet.  Attendants

in matching discomforts hurry to follow.

At the reception, the bride and her father dance

to Daddy’s Little Girl, while my dad waltzes

alone, happy in the arms of Jack Daniels.  Later

when he can’t negotiate the revolving  pie-wedge

of the hotel’s door,  my mom and I will stand

rooted to the sidewalk in shoes dyed to match.

A highway is a ham-handed and tired metaphor,

yet through the screen of a windshield blurred

with rain,  I see the slick road back to the heart

of family matters.  The storm doesn’t let up.

The rice never stops hitting the couple ducking

into the long car, the rest of their lives and mine

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  • b. elliott June 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Loved this. Thanks WVFC!

    Reply