There’s a panicked attempt
to tie one of Dad’s real bow-ties
per an instructional video on YouTube
which proves too difficult
and is abandoned for Plan B:
the faux, pre-tied version.
in shiny rented formalwear
posing for pictures
with long-legged, glossy-haired girls
who exceed their dates in sophistication
The customary exchange
of corsages and boutonnieres,
the parental admonitions to
have fun and be safe,
and the flurry of goodbyes
as the kids all leave for the dance.
There, again, is the lump
that lodges somewhere between my throat and heart
at seeing my boys dressed up like young men,
rehearsing for adulthood.