The Wave of the Wichita Wedding

The straggly band wants another hundred bucks
in case the reception lasts past midnight, as it looks
like it might. Dust in the Wind doesn’t play itself.

The bride’s mother, a Boeing ergonomist, has designed
the table centerpieces: mated pairs of tiny airliners
soaring on thin wires past coronas of fresh sunflowers.

The groom’s father is as plowed as his fields when
he catches the bride’s garter and wears it as a headband
during Electric Slide, spasming across the rented armory.

The still-vegan ex-college roommate from Lawrence
pops and locks as she lectures on celebratory tofurkey
and riboflavin, doing the robot, the puppet, the toyman.

The bassist, who’d once done time in the Army lock-up
in Leavenworth, funks up the bunny hop in 7/8 time,
a rippling of temporal reality joined by axe and drum.

Seventeen underage cousins of sundry sizes start to
surf on the sound, begin gyring and gimbling, waving
Sharpies from mother’s purses like ravers’ glow sticks.

The dance-off goes old school when the minister slides
the length of the floor on knees underneath the apron
of the pastry chef who spackles frosting roses like tattoos.

From the funky epicenter comes throbbing and aching,
hands clapping, toes tapping, necks flapping
and even a grandfather’s shiny titanium hips thrapping.

The bride’s mother and groom’s father tango like twins,
the doors burst and the syncopations send a wave across
the plains to dry dew. Many wake whistling unknown tunes.

Even after tired children are put to rest and party-goers
sip coffee and poke runny eggs, the potent vibrations
could be felt in the shimmying pen of the postal clerk,

the air kisses of the melancholy bus driver, the epic high-fiving
of the office copiers, the aquarium fish refusing to fight reflections,
the newlyweds plucking ripened husks, not in Kansas anymore.

About the author

Born into a gold mining family in Alaska, Martin Ott has traveled the world speaking a number of languages, all of which have been…

Read the full bio

Issue 13 · September 2011

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