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Things That Made Me Laugh

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  • Things That Made Me Laugh

    Without a cheating peek at old photos,
    I recall only these from my first wedding:
    one tall usher’s socks and my Dad’s arm.

    Red-red socks bridging a two-inch gap
    between shoelaces and pant cuffs, then
    my nearly-mother-in-law’s exasperation

    when her son refused to ask him to trade
    his trademark red for formal black.
    We’d recall those socks many times and laugh.

    No bridal jitters. I started down the aisle,
    path rehearsed, steady on my father’s arm.
    But I couldn’t stop my hand from shaking.

    It took all night for me to realize
    my hand had trembled because
    my rock of a Dad shook with every step

    toward letting his youngest go.
    I was supposed to be the nervous Nellie!
    Dad made me laugh that day.

    Decades and a divorce later I understood
    he’d knowingly allowed me
    to walk to my chosen failure.

    I still laugh about those red socks,
    but not about Dad’s quaking arm.
    I can’t laugh at love that deep.