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Mother of the Bride

By Natalie Warther

You didn’t mean to get married on Mother’s day, it just happened, the way death just happens, but that’s not what you mean to say, this is the happiest season of your life, and before you know it, it’ll be gone, just like her cat is gone, her car is gone, the tree the three of you planted for her in the front yard of the old house is gone, to think the new owners just didn’t like the way it looked, skinny and leaning towards her shutters, you drop your apple in the sand and she’s still gone, ants crawl out of the outlets and still, gone, you buy a veil, and something blue, and none of this makes her un-gone, but you’re getting married, there’s a lot to do, so you schedule her, write MOM on the list next to VENDOR TIPS and EYE LINER, carve out five minutes to pause and be her kid, you step out onto the driveway and say her name out loud, first, middle, and last, it might be the first time in decades that anyone has said it like this, “mother of the bride,” you say it once, twice, three times like some sort of prayer, go back inside, put your dish in the sink, cross her off, as if by acknowledging the want you could fix it, (THANK YOU CARDS, STEAMER,) as if motherlessness could ever be finished,

Natalie Warther is a senior writer at 72andSunny with an MFA from Bennington College, and her most recent fiction has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Hobart After Dark, and Maudlin House, and she was a finalist in Smokelong Quarterly’s Grand Micro contest and the recipient of the New Flash Fiction Review Editor’s Choice award, oh, and Natalie lives in Los Angeles.


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