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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 burden.

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

unborn child.

Jess Ingrassellino

About Jess Ingrassellino