The Couple at the Altar
They stand before the altar
Penitent and sure of their love
Pastor eases them through vows
Rings, unbroken circle of commitment
Pews on the bride’s side are empty
because relatives disapprove
damaging Cathy’s feelings
on her wedding day
Friends move across the aisle
to ease her distress
Her fragile ego soothed
by their kindness
Final moment: Pastor
pronounces them married
They kiss; the congregation
goes wild, whooping, cheering
Cathy and Mariana Smith-Lopez
had to visit Iowa to receive a
legitimate marriage certificate,
but this is the real wedding
Mari’s mom, Aida, smothers Cathy,
“my new daughter-in-law,” con besos.
The four Lopez brothers lift their
new sister aloft, like the World Cup.
They parade her around the hall.
DJ spins Indigo Girls and Regina Spector.
Their first dance, “You Do Something to Me,”
a duet by k.d. lang and Tony Bennett
“Tough luck for Mom and Dad,” whispers
Cathy, “they looooove Tony Bennett!”
Mariana holds her new wife closer
as they snicker and dance on air
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Our church is UCC (United Church of Christ), the first mainstream Christian denomination to recognize “same-sex marriage,” although I prefer “marriage equality,” more descriptive of the struggle for civil rights LGBTs and their Allies wage. I’ve been an Ally since age 5! While equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people is not yet recognized in Wisconsin, our church performs blessings for LGBT couples. Ray and Oscar, paz siempre a su casa.