Backyard Wedding

It’s a sunny day, the grass not quite green, but hay-colored in places

there’s a prefabricated wooden arch for the bride and groom to stand before

hanging planters and

newly planted flowering bushes dot the perimeter

a football floats in its tossed parabola above and then below the wood-plank privacy fence


the sound of kids playing

the homes are tucked against each other like dominoes

stucco siding in all directions

the pastor reads the holy words off pieces of printer paper folded halfway lengthwise

pausing when it comes time to flip to the next page

one wedding guest is dressed in an Under Armour polo shirt and jeans

the bride and groom hold hands and face each other

we sit and watch behind sunglasses

internalizing the recited vows

and for a brief moment look past all the added artifice necessary to paint this space in solemnity

and connect with that thing that spark that passion that great spirit that feeling of sticky shoulder flesh against my fingers

and even the beer bottle balancing on my plastic folding chair

because it’s a backyard wedding

and it’s hot

and the beer is cold

but I know to only take sips at opportune moments.


He kisses the bride, they walk down the grass aisle and out the back gate that crashes

loudly when it closes

and before anyone has moved the couple reappear through the door off the kitchen

like magic.

The moment is opportune.

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