Japanese Divorce Party

They smash the rings with a mallet,
set off in separate cars.

Ritual of asunder–
nothing left but crushed metal.

Speech! Speech!
You may now leave the bride.

I thought the Japanese women
so delicate, language a subtle

arrangement of flowers, words
they would not dare to say.

A life like the garden of
Giverny, shimmery blue-greens

and glistening shadows. Tilt
of a parasol, hidden smile.

As 250,000 couples a year split
some way or another in Japan,

why not this crash of cymbals,
clear and unequivocal goodbye?

—Janet McCann, College Station, TX