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"A Wedding" by James Kangas

Updated: May 7


There were two grooms and no brides.

The ceremony was long and too full 

of God the this, the that, and clergy 

drag. I thought one groom was going


to have a laughing fit, but he didn’t.

Several times he didn’t, so it was either 

good suppression or just the widest grin. 

The other looked thoughtful, solemn.

Their mothers walked them down the plush

maroon carpet and seemed pleased 

with the affair, rings, communion, 

the lack of gowns and bridesmaids.

The Elgar and Saint-Saëns were tasteful, 

as was “One Hand, One Heart,” the baritone’s

heart flying out of his mouth, his passion 

filling the sanctuary.    

There was dancing after a chicken dinner  

and plenty of wine.  Good thing to loosen up 

after the God-glutted service; it gave me 

hives. Kids and grooms and mothers danced


in various pairings, and many men danced 

to most every song, the seeming favorite: 

“It’s Raining Men.” I thought the 80s

and disco froth were back except


we were past prime now, this crew years

past pizzazz, past foraging for love, past

bellbottoms we wore once in the ignorant 

glory of our free-range, unlimited lives.

Published in Chiron Review, no.96, Autumn 2011


James Kangas is a retired librarian living in Flint, Michigan. His poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Free State Review, New World Writing, The New York Quarterly, The Penn Review, Tampa Review, Unbroken, et al. His chapbook, Breath of Eden (Sibling Rivalry Press), was published in 2019.

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