Ohio Wedding

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.

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