The most important day of your life

What kind of idiot
I ask myself
Would plan a wedding
For the afternoon of the
Blooming World Cup Final
The most important day
Of the year, hell of my
Entire life, if our boys
Should pull it off
Only a completely clueless
selfish self-centred
buxom curvaceous
drop-dead gorgeous
that my
lovestruck best friend
Is so completely smitten with
That he can’t even bring
Himself to make her
see reason
That kind of an idiot
That’s who.
And so here I am
Standing at the altar
Next to my oldest male companion
Dressed in morning grey
While inwardly I curse
The bonds of friendship
That are causing me to
Commit this travesty of
Disloyalty to our nation
I mean, look out there
How many men are even here?
Only the wimps
Or the unlucky
Or the clueless
The smart ones at least had the good grace
To get mysterious sudden illnesses
Or simply to tell their better half
The honest truth – that yes
In the end some things are
More important than human love
And that while the average marriage
May only last for a handful of years
A world cup victory is forever
After all, 1966 is a LONG time ago
We’re tired of living on other people’s
legacy – it’s time for our own generation
To grab the memories with which to bore
Our own offspring for the coming fifty years
In any case, I am not a victim
I have a plan
And so I surreptitiously place the tiny
speaker in my ear and
Turn the volume on
Now, with my body still in place
I smile, while focusing all my deeper attentions
On the action half a world away.
The music swells
The national anthem. No the wedding march.
The congregation rises.
I do so too, with tears in my eyes
As the teams shake hands
And exchange tokens of respect
Here comes the bride
And God save the Queen
In my delirium I whisper
God save the bride
My friend the groom glares
And I smile apologetically
About to begin, I tell him
The elderly vicar raises his hands
In blessing, and we’re off
A cautious start
Lusty singing from the crowd
A fair amount of action in the middle
Punctuated by a long lecture
From the man in charge
Increasingly I am caught
In a strange amalgam of
Sport and marriage until I can
No longer keep them separate
The match is reaching fever pitch
The end of extra time
The two sides facing each other
Intently – having played their lives
To this moment of finality
The dreaded penalties
So often our Waterloo
our total undoing
And now again today
Oh why?!
Everyone huddled in the center circle
I wish to assume a fetal position
Yet valiantly hold my upright stance
Twitching imperceptibly beneath my cummerbund
The only way out is the vows
Each one standing alone and staring
At their respective goal
My ears are buzzing with
Long horns and obscene chants
But now all falls silent
My friend stands alone
Magnificent, assured
The whistle blows
Do you…
Can you…
Across the room I see
Fifty misty-eyed men
Transfixed – each with one hand
To his ear
The tension is unbearable
Will he…
Will he…
Our hero takes one step forward
And calmly delivers
He does!!!!!!
He does!!!!!!
He doooooooooeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssss!
My ears are on fire
And as one there is a
Roar of acclamation throughout
The room as all the men
And many of the women
Leap and cheer
With untold fervor and abandon
Weeping uncontrollably
The bride and groom embrace
And lead the enraptured congregation
Down the aisle
And into the reception beyond
Wildly celebrating this
Once-in-a-lifetime event
It will surely be a long time
Before any of us sleep tonight
On a whim at the door
I stop and turn
Just in time to see the
Mild-mannered man of the cloth
pull a small device
From his own ear
He smiles and says
It wasn’t this easy
Back in ‘66


About Andrew Kreider

I'm a poet and musician,transplanted from London, England to beautiful northern Indiana. By day I am a stay-at-home dad with our three kids while my amazingly talented spouse conquers medical school one long shift at a time. At night, I'm a performer and trouble-maker. I love my life.

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