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Wedding Photo

—for Harriet O'Brien

She fixes her bobby pin – fixes it
into her whitened hair
as we marvel at the height 
of her wedding day
hair, how she must have 
rolled and then slipped
pin after pin, 
row upon row, then 
smoothed set locks to a sheen with satin 
gloved hands, to form 
the waves just so. 

She tucks her hands – tucks them 
into her lap, warm and wise
with all they’ve known and done.

Hands that typed the letters that sent
men to war. Pointed pens
to the lines that needed to be signed
to build, to buy, to learn. 

Hands that packed for seaside 
getaways all A-lines and bows and
platform peep-toes. Polished 
her skates for winter lakes.

Hands that knit cables and popcorn 
stiches into Irish sweaters. Sewed 
tiny clothes for her grand babies’ 
baby dolls.

Hands that rolled cabbage into 
Golumpki. Tossed the cards to win 
the trick. Pulled her love 
to the dancefloor for just 
one more polka. 

©2020 by Carolyne Meehan