Joan Mazza

Down the Aisle

Volume 16:1, Winter 2015
Sonnet Issue

Down the Aisle

for Dorothy Parker

When you marry, you must have two men:
one to give you away and one to take
you. You cannot go the way of Zen
and avoid attachments. You’ve got to make
your bed and sleep in it. Lie not alone.
That’s why you need a man, lest you awake
and find yourself at peace while on your own.
Keep your hands above the covers,
be quiet, sweet, agree. Never groan
in passion or complaint. Don’t have lovers
or compare. He may not be a ten
on your shaky scale, but hold your father’s
arm. Sign the dotted line with this black pen.
Look up. He’ll kiss you now. Then say, “Amen.”

Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, seminar leader, and has been a Pushcart Prize nominee. The author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/ Putnam, 1998), her poetry has appeared in Rattle, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Mezzo Cammin, and The Nation. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.