Showered // by Jennifer Patino
On a cusp of summer morning
where even the air aches with warning,
the sprightly girls sunbathe on the roof,
proof of youth in this dilapidated, decrepit town.
Down below, their mothers pick flowers
for centerpieces for the wedding shower
of a long lost sister. Their silks
billowing, they glow like rainbow refractions
in the garden mister.
This whole place braces for afternoon
rain. By nightfall the terrace
doesn’t look the same. Party lights
twinkle & the girls dance in
a sprinkling of fairy dust & desert rose rust.
The blushing bride hides so no one
sees her cry, & the mothers hold
hope in their plastered smiles for
their own ideas about what can turn
a charge into their very own child.
The flowers are wilting in the moon-
light & everything appears to be going alright,
but all the nails in the house are bitten clean.
The orchestra slows down the tempo
to reflect the new scene.
The cicadas sing like alarm bells,
& no one is sure what they mean,
but the show goes on through
the surf swells, the dry spells,
& the unsurety of the in-between.
The bride-to-be descends the stairs,
finally. Champagne is poured, the young ones
appear bored. Heat lightning spreads through
the sky like SOS flares as the mothers
secretly choose new daughters for their sons.
Those who couldn’t stay
learned it was all for naught
the next day. The prodigal sister
disappeared around midnight.
She wanted a party in her honor
once more before running far, far away.