I’m the first born, so I pull chairs into circle formation.
I receive them: daughters, brothers, cousins, forgotten Aunts.
We gather around the punch bowl, chocolates wrapped in gold,
And the Texas sheet cake. Shiny gooey squares sitting on little red plates.
The strawberry slices on top look like hearts, or not,
But we support their 50 bitter and sweet years of marriage.
I pose them, because they never had the chance.
Hand-in-hand, in front of these witnesses
Mom cries through her repeat-after-me vows.
And when the officiant asks what 1 + 1 is
My Dad says “one” just as clear as day.
It’s finally adding up to be something absolute.
A “Plus One” poem for Poetic Asides