The mayor, in order to marry us, borrowed
a necktie from a lawyer which, on him,
looked stupid and kept his eye on a red pigeon
which somehow got in to coo her disappointment,
if only for the record, though one of the two
witnesses who kicked the red got only what
she deserved and that was that, except that the
rain cooed too, but we didn't give a shit
for we had a bed, for God's sake, with two tin buckets
of blossoms waiting for us; and someone there
of Greek persuasion enacted the dancing though somewhat
lickerish and turned to reading the names of the dead
from World War I the other side of the bandstand
but we didn't care nor did we know her name
nor where she came from or what the necktie or what
our love had to do with it anyhow, mostly nothing.
Copyright © 2011 by Gerald Stern. Used with permission of the author.
Gerald Stern was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1925. His recent poetry collections include Galaxy Love (W. W. Norton, 2017); Divine Nothingness (W. W. Norton, 2014); In Beauty Bright (W. W. Norton, 2012); Early Collected Poems: 1965-1992 (W. W. Norton, 2010), and Save the Last Dance (2008).
Date Published: 2011-10-03
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/magnolia