" . . . And all the women went out after her
with timbrels and with dances."

At my wedding, my father, ten years dead,
practices what Isaac Babel called
         the "genre of silence"—that is,
         he says nothing.

And the art of invisibility, which
he has mastered.

Unseen, unheard. And I don't look or listen
for him until my sister begins to cry,
         and my mother accompanies her,
         lovely in her suit of lavender years
         and satin trim,

women who remember, remind,
who mine

today's gold-fiecked soil for veins
of remorse, who forge timbrels
         from sand dollars'
         fragile intaglio.

We ask my father to dance    in the dimming
nimbus of light.