Bradford Pairs - Poem by Jerry Buckley
Staged in neat horizontal rows: Linear. Like so many Bradford pear trees
Beaming out at us from the 'Society' section of the Sunday newspaper
Complete with full frontal smiles betraying idealism grafted onto ignorance
'McNeil weds O'Henry at Our Lady of Perpetual Agony'
'Thompson and Blakely to say vows in garden ceremony'
'Spencer and Lyons to wed at Second Presbyterian Church'
'Barton and Smith exchange vows at Cheekwood Tea Room'
Don't these young lovers ever read the articles in the 'Living' section of this same newspaper?
Haven't they spoken with acknowledged experts in the field; and learned that their odds of
survival intact are fifty-fifty at best? And even at that: the blooming season is so truncated.
And afterward, there's fifty drab weeks staring over coffee every morning at a snarling mangle
of branches, grappling with an overwhelmed trunk.
Scenario A reveals the blushing bride cannot be expected to be constrained by such mundane
concepts as decorum and property rights; that she finds wings on warm breezes and elopes into
the wild: to be exposed and recognized by anybody in the know, as an invasive pest.
Scenario B discovers that the first good strong thunderstorm or sheer wind past the third year
of planting effortlessly snaps off one or more of the main branches; and so now the poor
home-owner is wedded to an amputee flaying in a chorus line. And what on earth can you possibly
do about that?
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