I think I was more excited than the bride.
Never had I felt silk against my pasty skin,
tightened at the waist in imitation of the
woman I might become. Shop thrummed
with words I’d never heard before – ivory,
cinched, floral, embroidered – but all
tasted of marshmallow.
And the shoes! Pointy and fine, silver
spangled, how I imagined Cinderella’s
slippers might be. Never had I thought of myself
as a princess before. I twirled with the bride
as she sipped champagne, and my mother
pursed her lips and said I’d have to be careful
not to trip. We would arrive
in a cart drawn by two snow white horses –
like the fairy godmother! I exclaimed –
and the bride giggled. Rustic, said my
mother. One night I heard them in the
kitchen late one night when I should have
been sleeping, screaming some other words
I’d never heard before.
After that there was no more talk of silk
or sequins, and on the day we arrived
by car – late – and I wore a scratchy
department store dress, a size too small.
No one cared if I stumbled. I slouched at the back
as confetti settled on my bare shoulder,
cold as snow.