jess ingrassellino, summer 2019
(for my mother)
Tomorrow, she will graduate from
high school. But
today, she’ll walk down the aisle, her
white lace wedding dress
billowing with a baby bump,
Her father, wearing his crisp navy suit,
will take her trembling arm.
He’ll tell her to stop crying, while a tear
struggles to escape from his own
red eye. They’ll walk slowly,
up the aisle,
to the organ’s song.
Wearily, she lifts her swollen feet
over the plush, red carpet.
Feet stuffed in the white wedge heels her
mother forced her to wear.
Tall, dark wooden pillars line the aisle like
great oaks. She steps into her future, unknown.
Greeted by the groom in his
Ruffled white tux, she smiles, but thinks:
“I should run.”
It all happens so fast, the
prayers and vows, rings and wows –
Through the stained-glass roof, the
sun beams down on the new bride and groom.
Kisses are exchanged, and
the organ starts an energetic Rondeau.
The bride faces her family –
old and new – all pink chiffon and
smart brown suits, with darker brown lapels,
staring up at her, with tears of
adoration and agony.
Together, she and her groom
march and wave at the family, and
pews recede as she approaches the
open chapel door, as if the door to the outside
might also mean
Bride and groom and baby,
forever intertwined, each
parent the plight of their