Class Reunion

Each table wears a corsage of chrysanthemums.
Air conditioning has made the room cool enough for sweaters.
The loud soundtrack is from a common past.
Life histories are hastily exchanged and interest in each other’s
job descriptions feigned.  After twenty-five years,
it’s amazing how little there is to say.  Spouses, brought as proof
of marriage success, have been coerced to
grin and bear.  All embellish the truth to make it worth repeating.
A buffet line never seems to get any shorter.
The people you most hoped to see fail to appear, or rematerialize
so changed as to be almost unrecognizable.
Cash bar traffic grows congested and voices louder as
the evening progresses.  Men are casually attired,
but, formal as a prom, women wear dresses new for the occasion.
Quickly tiring of uncomfortable chitchat,
cliques begin to reassemble as wallflowers slip away unnoticed.
At eleven, the chrysanthemums are awarded
as door prizes and a steady exodus heads for the parking lot.
By midnight, a final chorus to keep in touch is
solemnly sworn.  With that white lie and a wave goodbye,
class is dismissed for another five years.

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