The Bride's Father Mixes Their Dance CD
Maureen Tolman Flannery
He knows how to keep quiet and pay the bills
but he’s going for frills in this father-daughter dance,
his chance to say it all with a schmaltzy waltz
and a honky-tonk, overused Texas two-step
about how recently she was his girl
and who knows where the time goes
but I loved her first and may she always walk in sunshine.
Johnny Cash, Elvis, Paul Simon can all serenade her day.
He wants their dance to say they’re in sync,
show they can adjust to the whim of the drummer,
let everyone see how she follows his lead,
each complex disco turn,
rudiments learned with her small feet on his huge boots.
Too much to pack into one three-minute track,
it had to be a medley to include every
kind of lyric he could find.
He’s put together a string of five or six songs to span the gamut
of agile motion, ballroom steps, and paternal devotion.
She drags her feet about scheduling practice
while quietly obsessing over what has become,
for her, the wedding preparations’ ultimate stressor—
how to express what she thinks of this overblown exhibition
that threatens to bore all the guests in the room
after she’s had the floor with her groom—
the frenetic abuse of too many styles
with cheesy, schlock lyrics oozing of sap.
Her lack of enthusiasm for their dance
calls up all her bridal ambivalence
about seeming a nay-sayer to his every “good idea”
showering acid rain on his parade.
It accentuates her basic fear of sounding
like bitch-bride about things she doesn’t like.
Where goes her intention to grab each moment with gusto?
What’s worse, it reminds her that his mortality looms
like a raptor with designs on blessings of her succulent life.
Every time she hears,
“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,”
she’ll weep over his overwhelming desire
to have brightened the light in her life.