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Wedding on the West Coast

Wedding on the West Coast

By Arthur Smith

What a marvel, to be singing
Christmas carols in a crowd
Of close to forty – all family –
And, suddenly, all of them mine.

I was altogether pleased I came.
I was not alone in being drunk.
By midnight, I had passed out
Colder than a wood wedge.

Then at dawn, the lawn and hedge
Iced-over, the Christmas spirit out
Of joint, like me, still rocking, drunk
From merely toasting each one’s name.

Renewed, I woke to sunshine –
Sleep, it seemed, the remedy
For one who crowed too loudly, proud
Of his new in-laws, not his singing.

Prairie Schooner, Vol. 63, N. 2 (Summer 1989), p. 111


Arthur Smith Photo by

Judith Welch

Arthur Smith is the author of several books, the most recent of which is The Fortunate Era (2013).  His work has been honored with a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, and two Pushcart Prizes.  He is Professor of English at the University of Tennessee.  His poems have appeared in numerous journals including The Nation, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review, and North American Review.  

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