Question for the Bride

Now that everything seems so persuasive
you will go on changingas always
it has always been the case with you
whether you knew it or notever since
that morning in the swampthat Sunday
a sunless windy morningwhen
right in front of youa fat hive dropped
unbiddenout of a blackened tree
a tupeloand where it fellthe water
was shalloweighteen inches at most
but in itone hundred & fifty-six wasps
drownedsonoyou are not
finishedyour apprenticeship is not yet over
you have fallen in loveinadvertentlyyou
are the bride-to-beand nowhaving
dressed yourself in the gownfor practice
you must stand before a mirror
in the upper right-hand corner of
whichall of a suddena courtroom
will appearthe litigants judge & jury
suspended therein midaira news
bulletinthe reporter's face reflected
from a portable television far across
the roomthe sound turned down
the litigants looking tenseor bored
the whole crew of them a little
self-consciouslike characters who have
just recently been conjuredthough somewhat
incompletelyby a staff of studio writers
in Century CityCalifornia
In a field off a Vermont roadlater
this weekyou'll listen to a car ticking
as it coolsthe sound of the engine
blending with the cicadas in tall bluegrass
floating pastas in a dream then
you will finger the veil & lift
your mother & father long ago set aside
in a folder for silences & song
you'll wakenalmost immediately
rebornyou will have lifted the veil
though of coursesooner or laterfarther
down the linethat strangerthe one
with whom you spend so much time
in your mindtalkinghe will reveal
he is your brotherand what
will you have to say to him thenwhen
as he musthe asks if you had
allowed yourself to lead a happy life
in spite of the fact your parents
had notwhat is it you will tell him
what answer can you give?