Peonies

White peonies, bouqueted with a silk bow,
are tossed aside, having been discarded like time,
on a gilded vanity and rest now atop
something old. Something new is being read
on the corner chaise through fogged eyes. “My dear please
meet me there…” scrawled hastily in smudged black ink.

A quick knock- a proposal to talk,
black tied and tired, her father enters the emptied suite.
Her vision veiled, she quickly wipes away
the obstruction with an unsteady hand
and glimpses the aisle through the closing door-
an ode to springtime, the walkway adorned
with meticulously spaced red tulips.

Frustrated murmurs become muddied
as the mahogany makes a click.
Like a well-trained hound, her father zeros in
on the note tightly gripped by her left hand
and realizes despite effort to silence the predicted objection
it has, in spite, arrived early and unspoken

on the back of a lavender and cream Save the Date
which is now holding three names instead of two.
Too late, she guards the note behind a mess of
lace and chiffon, but her father shakes his head
and extends an expectant hand, palm up.
Surrendering, the letter is lent with reluctance: something borrowed.

Brows knit over sharp green eyes as they absorb the black.
The hint of a smile begins to erode his stoic expression,
as it blossoms slowly around the mans mouth
and the edges of his eyes. The note is returned
gently as he looks searchingly into something blue.
Satisfied, he points to the clock and exits with the soft grin still on display.

A gape. A laugh. With resolve and resolution, she readies herself,
and unraveling the arrangement, takes the silk bow
from the peonies to tie back her unbridled tresses.

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