I saw pictures of my children on their father’s wedding day.
And I wasn’t even dead.
It broke my heart to watch them smiling,
holding on to the arm of the lovely bride,
by her side,
their pale skin blending in with her white gown.
And flowers all around.
Their father, looking happier than life,
than sun, than any minute that he met me,

it was easy for him to forget me.
What little girl should have to
look at her father and his beautiful bride and wonder

how their mother, now graying and thick in the middle,
must have looked once by his side?
My time didn’t have to go like that,
I pushed it away like a dish I couldn’t eat,
made my stomach weak.
I couldn’t do it,
I could pursue it, but when it came down to it, couldn’t do it.
Cherubs sweet, they gave it their all, those girls,
smiles were real, thank-yous and pleases and pearls,
trying hard to feel what he wanted them to feel.
It became as real
as roses and ribbons that flew through the air.
Light and pretty and better promises made.
That day, my daughters were in the vibrant sun
in the garden, in their stepmother’s changing room, in the trees’ shade.
Though I wasn’t there, so much of that wedding day, I made.