Wednesday, February 23, 2011

David Rakoff's 'Wedding Toast' Poem from This American Life

I've always wanted to share this poem by David Rakoff with my friends - I think it's brilliant. I heard it first on the "Frenemies" episode of the public radio show broadcast This American Life (#389) broadcast in September 2009. Here Rakoff demonstrates - in rhyme - how to make a wedding toast for people you never wanted to see married in the first place.

Nathan, at one of the outlying tables,
his feet tangled up in the disc jockey's cables,
surveyed the room as unseen as a ghost,
while he mulled over what he might say for his toast.
That the couple had asked him for this benediction,
seemed at odds with them parking him here by the kitchen.

That he'd shown up at all was still a surprise,
and not just to him, it was there in the eyes
of the guests who had seen a mirage and drew near,
and then covered their shock with a 'Nathan, you're here?'
And then silence, they'd nothing to say beyond that.
A few of the braver souls lingered to chat.
They all knew - it was neither a secret nor mystery -
that he and the couple had quite an odd history.
Their bonds were a tangle of friendship and sex,
Josh, his best pal once, and Patty, his ex.

For the rest, please go to

No comments: