A car ride three hours too long,
strapped in the back seat with two
older maternal generations in the front,
read the entirety of a Chicken Soup book
with no salty broth to sooth my cold
as we crossed state lines
into Ohio for a wedding of relatives
my sixth grade self had not yet met.
Days of time with cousins- names
quickly forgotten, peripherals scan
for a sly housecat, with silent paws that
conceal claws I am afraid of.
Hotel nights spent sculpture still,
I share a bed with mom, the light
sleeper who wakes with every move.
At the apex of the wedding- all white,
crisp and loud. The daughter dances with
her father, tears flood my tired eyes.
My mother’s face immediately rose,
blush with embarrassment for
the tantrum she thought was abrew
inside my twelve year old self.
The tears were not fueled by a selfish
fit, but rather a question of whether
at my own wedding may have the same
traditional dance. Inability to hide this
unexpected thought, manifested in
streams down my face, fueled by
my mother’s shame in her only
daughter, buried the possibility
of admitting this impulsive query
deep into the bottom of my satin
purse, carried only to match my
dress and filled with tissues.