by TC DuBose-Schmitt

I wore the standard-issue ugly bridesmaid dress—
Pepto-Bismol pink with poofy sleeves,
Old-lady lace down the bodice and
The usual big butt bow—
And stood there on pinchy shoes dyed to match
With flowers in my hair and hands
And a frozen smile
And heard them speak—
For them, no standard-issue vows
But powerful proclamations
A holy moment, a Divine cause
Insisting they were meant to be
For all of time, part of a Plan,
God's will they be together
So they were married
And we bore witness
And cake was served.
They drove away
To a less lofty life
To moves and jobs
Two kids—a girl, then a boy—
And money troubles
More moves, different jobs
Hard words, disappointments
Shifting allegiances
Growing apart
Ten years

She takes the kids and goes back south
God's will, she claims
A Higher Purpose
You go where you're happy
God wants you happy
It's the right thing to do
God agrees, she believes
And so papers are served
They sign, drive away
A standard-issue divorce
We bear witness

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