Plan B

Plan A involves two lives twenty years gone
there are other folks now faceless and forgotten 
the man in the red shirt and black chinos is then
a thinner man with wild hair and a bushy mustache 

he is posing in one of those photo arcade props
with two cutouts in which the faces are inserted
his face is recognizable above the painting of Popeye
Olive Oyl's face is faded as if leaving memory behind 

the woman with the blue summer dress and
crown of braided daisies and blackeyed susans 
is then a flower child, 
is soon to become in real life a blackeyed beauty 
			
the 16-millimeter reel records her dancing
in a long, white dress on the floor
of Knights of Columbus Hall, dancing
alone while her partner sits on the sidelines

Plan B requires a hiatus, a gap in the story
to be filled in by future events including a chance
meeting on, of all places, the boardwalk at Atlantic City
where two folks go to try to change their luck 

Plan B continues in December on a desert mountain top
in a western state while the clock strikes sunset 
he preacher in the black suit and leather boots and
two witnesses, two old women who fight the years

and climb the mountain along with
the black suit, the chinos and the blue dress
all arriving at the summit and together they
face the red ball dancing behind the distant hills

and recite the Indian vows and red shirt
and blue dress touch hands and a moment is
sealed somewhere in a cardboard box and 
the old photograph crinkles to dust 

Next Poem

Wedding rings

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