Why This Must Be

Twin grins flashing, my parents look happy in the photos.
Rings freshly slid onto fourth fingers, daisy bouquet
Awaiting its flight, newly-minted man and wife gleam
In tuxedo black and taffeta white. Young and dumb, they can
Not see past the tiered cake they cut, the photographer’s bulb.

Ignorant of all that will come—her chemical imbalance, the
Noose of postpartum—the pair smiles on, unaware their

Vows, fragile as veils, will tear in just seven years. In square
After square, no hint of their destruction appears, and even if
I could journey back, spare them, I dare not change a thing,
Needing all of this to happen, or else I never live.

Jill Michelle
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