For 19-21 August, I joined family and friends to celebrate my niece Katie’s wedding in Hood River, Oregon on the Columbia River. Here’s the poem I performed:


A Wedding Toast


 May your love be firm,

and may your dream of life together

be a river between two shores––

by day bathed in sunlight, and by night

illuminated from within. May the heron

carry news of you to the heavens, and the salmon bring

the sea’s blue grace. May your twin thoughts spiral upward

like leafy vines, like fiddle strings in the wind,

and be as noble as the Douglas fir.

May you never find yourselves back to back

without love pulling you around

into each other’s arms.

By James Bertolino


Here are the newlyweds, with Oregon farmland and the bottom of Mt. Hood in the distance.

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