Sunday Poem

Rehearsal Dinner

My son claims that he is somebody now that he is
marrying into wealth. The bride’s family pays
for my trip to their Napa Valley home, where good fences,
manicured and surrounded by snapdragons, are still
fences. At rehearsal they serve the opposite of what I
ordered for the reception. The salmon skin, burnt and
curling, reminds me why I checked the box marked
chicken. His mother-to-be hands me a whiskey glass full
of frozen paradise apple flowers. She tells me that the
petals contain cyanide precursors and can only be
consumed in moderation. I compare her to the flower.
She does not laugh. My son leads me away from the
table, pleading in polished whispers for me to stop
darkening his crimson. I take this moment alone to offer him
an early wedding gift. He opens the box and feels the worn
fabric. I ask him to try it on. But my son claims that the
somebody he is now won’t fit into his father’s old suit.

by Paige Lewis
from Gravel, A Literary Journal